On Friday, April 27, around 200 2018 Winter Olympic athletes will visit the White House, accepting an invitation from President Trump to celebrate their achievements at the PyeongChang Games. However, many familiar faces from the Games will be missing from the White House festivities, reports Bustle.com.
Indeed, some athletes have specifically indicated that they will not be attending due to their lack of support for the Trump administration, while others have unrelated conflicts preventing them from attending.
Lindsey Vonn declared back in December when asked if she would attend if invited:
“Absolutely not. Nope. I have to win to be invited so – no, actually I think every US team member is invited. So, no, I won’t go.” In that same interview, Vonn also noted that she represented the United States and not the president.
In addition to Vonn freeskier Gus Kenworthy also preemptively revealed he would not be going to the White House. Back in January 2018, Kenworthy noted:
“I am very proud to represent the U.S. but I don’t stand by Trump and his cabinet and their policies … I do not want to feign approval for policies that are in place and things that are being pushed at the moment, by going. If I was invited I would decline my spot.”
Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Nathan Chen had previously noted that they did not plan to attend the White House event due to their disapproval of the Trump administration, but now conveniently have other commitments (Stars on Ice and Dancing with the Stars) inhibiting them from attending the White House festivities.
In fact, many more athletes are expected to miss the White House gathering because of these two events. Figure skater Mirai Nagasu, along with Chris Mazdzer, a luger, and Jamie Anderson, a snowboarder, will all skip the meeting with Trump due to conflicts with Dancing with the Stars and many more figure skaters will also miss the meeting because of Stars on Ice, including Maia and Alex Shibutani, Bradie Tennell, Madison Hubbell, and Zachary Donohue.
Finally, some athletes also simply have personal conflicts preventing them from heading to Washington. Snowboarders Chloe Kim and Shaun White both have weddings to attend, inhibiting their ability to go to DC.
Overall, while many members of Team USA are missing out on the White House gathering for a variety of reasons, it still appears that the majority of athletes do plan on visiting the Executive Branch.