Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Trump welcomes Team USA to White House, many big names opt out

Olympians applaud as President Donald Trump speaks welcoming the Team USA Olympic athletes on North Portico at the White House in Washington Friday Donald Trump hosts Olympic athletes at White House
Deanna Wagner | 28 April, 2018, 10:45

President Donald Trump welcomed the United States' Winter Olympics teams to the White House Friday, but the list of absentees read like a who's-who of America's most well-known athletes.

Other Olympians including Vonn and Kenworthy have made it clear that they are skipping the US Olympic Committee's White House visit because they disagree with Trump's controversial actions. Trump congratulated both teams for their successes, but one comment about the Paralympics being "tough" to watch has some people wondering what the President meant.

"Come on! You can't put me on the spot like this", Gerard said, with his medal draped around his neck.

Per USA Today, most of the 2018 U.S. Olympic figure skating team was also absent, though not necessarily for political reasons.

"A lot of good things are happening right now over there", Trump said.

"It really helped to bring it all together", Mr Trump said.

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"All of you, winners", he said. "In those times, it's even more important for us to be the best representatives of ourselves and just go out there and win as many medals as possible".

The members of the Olympic and Paralympic teams presented the president with flags signed by the delegations.

Some of the most familiar names of the Game, including Lindsey Vonn, Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon, though, were not there.

He also said back in January that if invited to the White House, he would not go because he is gay.

Several members of the US team, including Gus Kenworthy, Adam Rippon, Nathan Chen and Lindsey Vonn, had said they wouldn't go to the White House if invited, citing personal beliefs. "In lieu of going to DC, I have donated to a few of my favorite causes", Rippon tweeted Friday.