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Billie Jean King will miss the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics because her mother is ill.

King was appointed by President Obama to lead the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Games.

The famous tennis champ is one of three openly gay members of the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics.

King told The Associated Press on Wednesday that because of her mother's "failing health, I will not be able to join the U.S. Presidential delegation at this week's opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.

"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 Associated Press contributed to this report.