Brian Boitano On Coming Out

The Olympic Gold Medalist Promotes His New HGTV Show And The Sochi Olympics
3:00 | 01/16/14

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Transcript for Brian Boitano On Coming Out
1988 gold medalist figure skater Brian Boitano has recently turned his attention to house renovation and decorating and result of brands -- HDTV called the Brian Boitano project. Joining us today. Is none other than Brian wit on himself talk let's show that's -- with us today that's great to be careful it's who it's you I'm glad that you get you've had come a whirlwind couple of weeks suspect. We get a little busy to say the least -- in the meantime you hung up the skates temporarily. Put -- -- side. And actually. You pick up a hammer I mean I'm sure that you've got command on the ice but also in the toolbox as well yeah I don't know so much I mean -- a little bit -- -- hands on lower than in the house mostly. Leonid layout of the floor plan in telling contract is what to do and in the decorating -- you know that so I broke down some walls are yet -- your your getting your hands dirty -- this guy -- -- is often have you got these renovation you hear these renovating shows or whatever and it's as excellent comes in. With a check and they say will make this all happened yeah like actually get in -- in this. This particular house that you worked on had significant meaning to -- Absolutely as my it was my great great grandfather's house that I actually tracked down in the village of the volley -- -- but -- In Italy OK and I bought it from twenty other boitano is that -- it and -- a ticket we. Date that TV show goes from all of that discovering the house for the first time literally. Walking into the house that time forgot -- -- -- -- like with clothes and curtains on the window and just everything stone house pictures of my great great grandparents. Tax records. Brow I'll birthday cards. That is just everything that's. -- has that humbling moment. Who's sitting here at the heritage right there fascinating fascinating stuff I wanna play quickly that the show -- what's on a project. I'm Brian Boitano and welcome to my Italian adventure to restore historic Stanley house -- him to help I've got my Italian family. Everybody -- Some American boitano. And a cast of characters speak -- -- you. When the job is done I'll have my dream Italian vacation house. But that's not up. With this let's camera and have yeah. That's very -- -- gets an American what's not a some Italian what time those -- boitano the world and I met them for the first time when it went over there and their my cousins and my uncles and now I handle with the -- winning over there mean we can we make food together we have parties. They helped with you know jobs are -- jobs like -- John of these side there he owns a car mechanic place and I would paint things. In here is in his factory that's I was really fantastic well speaking of food you've had a couple of cooking show an idea -- so what are askew most. Hated ingredient that you ever had to work with B it's why I I don't know it's the one thing that I won't mean beats -- I don't know I think it was because I was on a diet. And it was pickled -- when I was -- and so I can't eat -- anymore -- -- it will be -- -- think about the hot vegetables right now -- about it -- which is -- -- which is -- hit Brussels -- right off the -- yeah yeah so says the New York Times now declares that some kind of vegetable -- yes things I -- that -- -- I -- you cook all the time Republican -- three to -- over the refrigerator and dislikes -- -- on on the Barr potter and and my -- I try and -- especially when it comes to fat I don't really use a lot of bad fats and Monica might try to be as healthy as I can -- -- -- leans toward the healthy but it definitely stepped. Outside -- the bounds on sometimes you seem very very comfortable in the -- most important room in the house. I definitely think they kitchen always having we always talk about that everybody wants to hang in the kitchen -- -- I mean in the house in Italy it's definitely the focus -- it is it's it's always that bonding experience and environment that always takes place. And had to catch it what about the biggest job that you take on in this project. I would say and so my great great grandfather but brought all the rocks. From a mile and a half down in the river on his back so all the building the tears were brought -- today on the island and sat there. So the walls are three foot thick stone and mortar so they had seat to do the open floor plan that I wanted I had to get rid of one of those walls -- they were scared. That the upstairs while would fall down because a three foot heavy fixed right it was probably getting rid of that law and getting the steel beam and there. Yeah I -- I -- so yeah I was worried that the whole house -- -- -- and you know what happens and you that you can't. Then it doesn't become -- Brian Boitano I think because like the bribery to hunt no big mistake I know -- -- without accurate results. It's so fantastic can even tell you it's the most beautiful house and it's you know. It's charming it's cozy it's. It's fantastic in the vegetable gardens this around the house and we -- -- teeny mushrooms in mind. You know cousins hunt for if there is every route so cool sounds so graphic pictures of the -- -- I did ask director of South Park clips were right there were moments is when Stan asked -- what would Brian Boitano do yes this is the -- and it's -- -- -- -- -- -- Do you ever get old. Let south -- -- -- hear all the time and it's so funny has kids tweet me and -- just send me like lyrics to the song. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I was taken in stride you put and a Twitter account I mean that you definitely hasn't -- those guys I had yeah I've never met him yet but I did write the forward to their guide to life so that was produced -- they didn't -- me to go to the studios which have always wanted -- Invitations. That's -- you've also been invited to go over to Russia and acts as well what was elect -- for cut back on it you're going to be part of the US delegation I was so honored you know I mean they called -- and they said we you know we're putting to get together the press presidential delegation. And we'd love used to be one of the people on it now is just completely honored to be to be the as it was it was a time isolate. That they they make the calling make the announcement and then it was it the next day that they had announced their they patent it was really quick for me it was they asked mean. Two days before and then they Meet the Press release the next day. And I was in Europe skating in -- show and so I read the press release that literally the next while. It's a big -- families and because given the attention of over. Of Russia and and it anti gay laws I am an end propaganda. Being banned over -- it with with they consider propaganda being banned over there. What was your reaction then when you were chosen the as the delegations I mean. Yeah -- well when I read -- The press release. People they chosen for the delegation. And there were to openly gay people on that allegation. And also I read the message that President Obama. With sending tolerance and diversity I had no idea that when I signed on to the delegation. -- sort of made a bold decision for myself. Even though I had been a public person and I realize that there's a public and private side I was always inherently -- private guy selling never. Shared. You know who I was privately and I decided -- Come out as a game and two support the message for the president and represent my country as well -- like because for a lot of years I mean you must've heard a lot of innuendo human again a lot of rumors of course how do you fight through all of you know I didn't care about the -- -- was never -- in -- out I just wise Brian and you know with my family and friends I decided to keep that part of my life a special part for people fooling you and and -- tonight -- -- that -- So it wasn't that I was ashamed or anything like that I was just -- and I didn't feel I needed to share it but I feel I felt like. When. When President Obama came out with the message I thought I need to make it official. Because they need to go over -- Russian whether people think they know about me or not needed to make it official. And go over there and stand strong next is Billie Jean Caitlin would it is so -- -- what was it a snap judgment has apparently it -- some think you've been thinking about for awhile. Never I don't know if you would have asked me five minutes before. You know the -- read the press release that he would say you know ghastly and a mountain in ten hours -- -- -- There would be -- and there was no reason for me it never had planned on that so and and and so what has been the response since then it's been fantastic and -- it's like so. It's been so overwhelmingly supportive and people understand people really get the idea that the president inspired me and hands the message is so important -- -- -- -- huge platform. I mean like it's literally country talking to country. And Tina saying -- you know we hear you know at the forefront. You know you know -- in diversity. And see where you know if you don't. If you don't keep up with us we're gonna leave behind. Is it it will. Let me ask you this is it the kind of response in the kind of reaction that you thought it would be -- and I say this and end. -- run the risk of kind of stepping over the journalistic boundaries I came out on air as well and after after I did that. I guess that wasn't exactly certain what the reaction was gonna -- what the response was going to be. A -- -- -- processes that until you know you start getting responses and you know some are positive and some are negative and then you kind of like you say well this isn't exactly what I thought it was going to be like. -- I guess I didn't know what to expect it was so fast for -- mean that I was like. And I didn't I couldn't care what to expect because it was so fast so I was like I just made the decision I mean my press release -- literally within ten hours. And I I I did my own press release. And I I I I you know I came out in the press release and I feel like the press release is a great representation of how I felt so help. Good -- complete because they felt like explained it in you know just a very few sentences but. So the response IE. It's just been overwhelmingly supportive and I am really appreciate it -- hit and have you gotten criticism for some -- -- has said. Why didn't you come out earlier. Not criticism but people. Because I think that I've been dealing with the reason why -- didn't come out earlier in interviews like this. Every time I sit down for an interview and I talk about it. I tell people the reason why you know and so I think that they understand where I'm coming from and I always say that everybody has their own time and place. And everybody should do things when they're comfortable and this was just the time that I was comfortable and I felt the reason was. Rights and chest and I wanted to make a stand Q do you think that as a society we've become obsessed with outing. I'm not sure I'm may be an I don't I mean I don't care about a person who they're dating her who was who they are -- I care about what they what they -- I've always. I've always wanted my accomplishments to speak for myself and people to focus on my accomplishments. And I've found that a lot of times when people start to cross over into the personal side. Than their -- ties side stands out a little bit more than their accomplishments and I think. As an athlete you've always wanted to say like look first and foremost I'm an American athlete that's what I am what you are so many things in life and that's what my statements -- You know I'm a son -- an uncle and I -- -- come you know I do so many things it's just one aspect of who I am who I am. Have heavier and given the prominence of the delegation and and and those that were selected to represent the United States have you guys. Talked about a year the represented Haitian talked -- the kind of message that you're going to be sending over there. Now we haven't talked about it I mean we've been briefed by the White House. You know we're. There are no plans to me you know a big statement here you know big demonstration I I really truly honestly believe. That everybody is -- know what we stand for when you go there everybody knows what president Obama's messages and they know that he's making a statement toward -- And you know that they're -- -- as well because it's been all over the press in Russia as well when we I think the biggest. Thing -- -- -- to go and stand at the events and get off the plane because sometimes it's silent things that make the most impact and are you nervous. I'm not nervous I don't know I'm not nervous about them and anticipatory. I really I really wanna go and experience and see what life as old as -- never expected this. In my life and a I want to go and with -- I think if you can move -- -- that's three not fact I think he could African -- take on anything right equity including who meant a lot of threatened and we'll think about that will obviously get ready for your team USA in the Brian -- projects right thank you so much contained success.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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