In December, President Obama selected an official U.S. Olympic delegation unlike any other, designed solely to send a message of disgust to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law.

Early Friday afternoon, the delegation delivered the message on Russian soil.

“We feel very strongly (about the official U.S.) message: tolerance and diversity,” Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano, who is openly gay, said at a hotel overlooking the Black Sea, little more than a mile from the site of Friday night’s Opening Ceremony.

“And that’s why we’re here.  Everyone knows why we’re here.  We’ve made it obvious and quite public as to why Caitlin (Cahow) and I are supporting the delegation and are here.  I think Russians know that and I think Americans know that and we’re proud to come from a country who supports tolerance and diversity and we stand strong.”

Cahow, a two-time Olympic-medal-winning ice hockey player who also is openly gay, said she was particularly aware of the millions in Russia’s LGBT community who would be watching the U.S. delegation this weekend.

“If there’s one person sitting out there watching me on television and realizing that there’s someone like them out there and there is the opportunity that one day you may feel safe and you may feel like you can live your life, that’s what I want to be able to do,” she said.

“Even uplifting one person is a job well done for me.  So I think it’s a fantastic choice of delegation by the president for a number of issues, but certainly demonstrating the changes that we’ve made on the LGBT policy in the United States the last few years, which has really been astounding.  I’m grateful and honored to be a part of a country that is really shifting the dialogue.”

Cahow had been selected to represent the United States in the closing ceremony but replaced tennis legend Billie Jean King, who also is openly gay, when King had to miss the opening ceremony to remain home due to her mother’s failing health.

“I like the way Brian Boitano said it recently: ‘Just by getting off the plane, we’re making a statement.'”

The Olympic medalists were joined by former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, White House aide Rob Nabors and U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul.

Last night on NBC we were told that 85 % of the citizens of Russia are in favor of anti-gay laws, and yet, here we go again, trying to impart on other nations, our so-called tolerance of others.  We talk a big talk when it comes to our national media about our nation’s tolerance, but I think that the bigger issue is the over-whelming fear of reprisal, if you speak out again anything.  Many so-called commentators on our national news programs are so quick to speak out and rant and rave over any belief or opinion that appears to run counter to what they believe or support.  We have become a nation of silence against differing viewpoints.  We live in a nation of absolutes.

If I oppose religion…I must be an atheist.  If I hate Democrats…I must be Republican.  If I say anything in opposition to Blacks…I have to be racist.  If I do not support wars…then I am anti-military.  And, if I do not favor the concept of gay rights, then I am told to shut up and keep my opinions to myself.  I do not wish to know your sexual preferences and I do not have to come out of the “closet” and state that I am a hetero-sexual.  What you do in your home is your business and should remain there.

Do you not find it unbelievable, that any intolerance for others actually promotes more intolerance, because suddenly my beliefs are viewed by those that I do not concur with become intolerant against me?  We are no longer a nation of free speech.  You can speak out freely, but every Tom, Dick, and Harriet will vilify you for your opinion…or belief…or position.

The other surprising thing is that this so called national stand is being put forth on the whims of a black President who constantly supports the causes of black people to the exclusion of people of other races.  Is it not the least bit ironic, that many Mid-Eastern and African countries have far worse laws against gay-rights, than Russia?

By sending this, so-called “gay” delegation we have not furthered the cause of intolerance of others, but instead have projected our intolerance toward a country that we have opposed since the start of the “cold war.” So, who now is being intolerant?