Brian Boitano Stands Strong in Sochi for Gay Rights

He prefers watching the Olympics on TV

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Who Brian Boitano

Age 50

Accomplishments Olympic gold medal-winning skater; member of the U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics; host of Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure on the Cooking Channel and The Brian Boitano Project on HGTV

Base San Francisco

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

I’ll go into my email and read the Cynopsis media newsletter. It gives you the ratings for all the prime-time shows, all the news shows, and tells you what’s going on in the TV business. I’m fascinated with ratings. Then I go to, and I read the San Francisco Chronicle in old-fashioned print while I’m having my coffee, with the Today show on in the background.

What are your go-to social media platforms?

Twitter is definitely a go-to for me. I have private and public Facebook pages, but I really only pay attention to my public page. I also use Instagram. My favorite, though, is Forkly. It’s basically an Instagram for food pictures. I take pictures of everything I eat!

How about food blogs?

I get The Daily Meal newsletter every day. I really like cocktail stuff too, so I’ll read Imbibe.

Which TV shows do you watch?

I watch Mad Men, Modern Family, Homeland and The Blacklist. And I love So You Think You Can Dance.

You famously had a song written about you for the South Park movie, Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Do you have a favorite South Park TV episode?

There are so many. I like the really irreverent ones. The original five-minute short, “The Spirit of Christmas,” is my favorite. It was just so irreverent and politically incorrect, and people were laughing their heads off. No one had seen anything like that before.

What’s it like watching the Olympics on TV versus in person?

Usually I’m there, so I rarely watch it on television. It’s better to watch on TV because you can see more events. If you’re there, you might only see one or two events in one day.

How did media coverage of Russia’s anti-gay laws affect your decision to publicly come out after you had been named to the delegation?

It had everything to do with my decision. Once I knew of President Obama’s message of diversity and tolerance by selecting certain out delegation members, I decided I needed to get past my comfort zone of privacy issues and stand strong for his message and to represent my country.

What sports are you most excited to watch other than figure skating?

I’m really looking forward to skiing. Short track speed skating is really exciting. And the halfpipe is going to be fun.

How do you plan to stay occupied on the flight to Sochi?

I always pack the same magazines: Country Living, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, Details and Esquire.

What’s on your reading list?

Proof of Heaven is on the list, and I’m also reading Total Nutrition. I’m doing Italian lessons on Rosetta Stone, so a lot of my reading is done in Italian on my computer.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.