President Barack Obama on Friday denied that he was sending a message with his decision to skip the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The administration on Tuesday announced that tennis legend Billie Jean King, figure skater Brian Boitano and hockey player Caitlin Cahow would be part of a 10-person delegation heading to the Sochi Games and that the president and Vice President Joe Biden would not attend the sporting event. On Thursday, Boitano publicly announced that he's gay.

(Related: Brian Boitano comes out gay; Ups number of gay athletes in Olympic delegation.)

Gay rights activists have urged leaders to boycott the games in protest of the nation's “gay propaganda” law, which prohibits public demonstrations of support for the LGBT community.

At the president's final press conference of the year, Phil Mattingly of Bloomberg TV asked: “What was the message you were trying to send with not only your decision not to attend the Sochi Games, but also with the people you named to the delegation to represent the United States at those games?”

“Well, first of all, I haven't attended Olympics in the past, and I suspect that me attending the Olympics, particularly at a time when we've got all the other stuff that people have been talking about, is going to be tough, although I would love to do it,” Obama answered. “I'll be going to a lot of Olympic Games post-presidency. I think the delegation speaks for itself. You've got outstanding Americans, outstanding athletes, people who will represent us extraordinarily well.”

“And the fact that we've got folks like Billie Jean King or Brian Boitano, who themselves have been world-class athletes that everybody acknowledges for their excellence but also for their character, who also happen to be members of the LGBT community, you should take that for what it's worth – that when it comes to the Olympics and athletic performance, we don't make distinctions on the basis of sexual orientation. We judge people on how they perform, both on the court and off the court – on the field and off the field. And that's a value that I think is at the heart of not just America, but American sports.”