Donald Trump hosts Olympic athletes at White House
While the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic teams will be heading to the White House Friday morning, several athletes have already declined the invitation.
The group is scheduled to pose for pictures with U.S. President Donald Trump, but big names including Lindsey Vonn, flag bearer Erin Hamlin, Adam Rippon and many of his fellow figure skaters, and snowboarding star Chloe Kim won’t be in attendance.
According to USA Today, a handful of the athletes, including Vonn, Rippon and Kenworthy have made it clear that they’re sitting out the visit to protest the president’s conduct.
The rest have simply declined on the basis of having prior commitments.
“I was not going or planning on going (to the White House) anyway. I have been invited to so many incredible things, to the Human Rights Campaign dinner, the GLAAD Media Awards. I was so honored and so excited to go to those, more so than I would be to go to the White House.,” said Rippon in a recent interview.
The 28-year-old skater made his Olympic debut at the Winter, 2018 Games.
“It’s important for me to align myself with those people who have the same ideals that I have,” he concluded.
Kenworthy told CNN this past February that he would “definitely decline my White House visit,” while Vonn similarly commented in December that she would “hope to represent the people of the United States [in the games], not the president.”
Trump is expected to hold a live press conference during the visit from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
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