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February 05, 2014 AT 10:18 AM
President Obama has updated the U.S. delegation to Friday's Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia, given the absence of Billie Jean King because of her mother's illness. King, the tennis legend, told the Associated Press that "it is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi." The revamped U.S. delegation, as announced by Obama: -- Janet A. Napolitano, former homeland security secretary and president of the University of California, leader of the delegation; -- Michael A. McFaul, United States ambassador to the Russian Federation; -- Robert L. Nabors, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy; -- Brian A. Boitano, Olympic gold medalist, figure skating; -- Caitlin Cahow, Olympic silver and bronze medalist, women's ice hockey.