Brian Boitano On Wendy Williams

Olympic gold medallist and pop-culture icon, Brian Boitano, visited "The Wendy Williams Show" for the first time today, to talk about the Presidential push to come out in the lead up to Sochi, the conditions facing athletes and the media in Russia, and the pressures of growing up gay in figure skating.

After delivering Wendy's signature "How you doin'?" line in Italian, Brian revealed that his process for donating to the Smithsonian was slightly different to Wendy's, with a large refrigerated truck pulling up to his house to accept his Olympic skates, now housed in the same institution as the ruby slippers.

While Brian had no shame in his sexuality and his friends and family all knew he was gay, he revealed he never thought he would have to announce it publicly.
"I was appointed to the Presidential delegation for Sochi, and I asked them who else was on the delegation and they said 'we can't tell you'. So when the press release came out the next day and it said there were two openly gay people on the delegation, and President Obama was sending a message of diversity and tolerance. I was like, I read that on my Twitter account. I clicked on there and they mentioned Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow were out. And they said, also on the delegation is Brian Boitano. But President Obama's sending this message, and I was like, you know what... I wasn't pissed, I was like going, wow, I'm at a crossroads in my life that I never thought I would be here. I didn't ever think that I was going to come out publicly or share that publicly."

Recently returned from the Winter Olympics, being held in Russia, Brian weighed in on the conditions many are reporting on there. "Do I look like a guy who would drink yellow water?" he laughed, adding, "I knew when I saw Matt Lauer in the hotel, I'm like ok, this is going to be a good hotel. So, I knew that we were going to be taken care of and we had great security and everything, but I do know a lot of friends that had really bad accommodations, like cubicles with beds and cots set up. And they have to stay there for like five weeks doing this stuff...those weren't the athletes those were people who work in the media."

Brian said of his own experiences at the 1988 Olympics, "After you win an Olympic gold medal, you go into the Olympic Village one person and you come out a different person. It was really difficult, because nobody knew who I was when I went in. When you come out, people are saying hi to you, they know your name. They feel that they know you, so it's a large transition for people at a very young age, I was 24 years old."

On the pressure to play it straight while growing up in the world of figure skating, Brian said he didn't realize the assumptions spectators made. "It was weird growing up in figure skating cause all the guys I competed against were straight. Everybody I toured with was straight." He added, "So I was always really quiet about who I was personally. And after the Olympics, in fact, my agent at the time said you know, you gotta go on these talk shows and say that you want to get married and stuff like that. 'I don't know if you're gay or not'. I'm like 'oh my god, how does he know that I'm gay?' Cause I was in this world of all these straight guys competing. I'm like, I'm serious. I was totally naive, I didn't even know that people thought that figure skaters might be gay."