Brian Boitano "was never and in or out guy," the 1988 Olympic gold medalist told ABC News' Dan Kloeffler in a recent interview.
But Boitano, who stopped by ABC to promote his new show "The Brian Boitano Project," said that when he saw the message President Obama was making by placing him and other openly gay athletes on the U.S. Olympic delegation, he felt he needed to make it official.
As the world anticipates the Sochi Olympic Games, Russia's anti-gay laws have come to the forefront.
"When I read the press release of the people they'd chosen for the delegation and there were two openly gay people on the delegation, and also I read the message that President Obama was sending of tolerance and diversity, I sort of made a bold decision for myself," the 50-year-old figure skater said.
He continued, "Even though I had been a public person ... I was always inherently a private guy. I never shared, who I was privately and I decided to come out as a gay man to support the message for the president."
Coming out was never something Boitano planned on doing.
"[The response] has been fantastic, I got to say," he said. "It's been so overwhelmingly supportive and people understand, people really get the idea that the president inspired me."
Boitano candidly tells Kloeffler, who also shared his own experience coming out on air, that everybody has their own time and place to come out and this was just the right time for him.