Team U.S.A. figure skater Adam Rippon said he has no “desire” to attend the White House with the rest of his Winter Olympics teammates following the conclusion of the 2018 games.
“No. I have no desire to go to the White House,” the 28-year-old openly gay skater told the Daily Mail Monday. “But I would like to do something to help my community. I have kind of spoken out loud, and I’d like to do something positive and not just stay home.”
On Sunday night, Rippon won a team bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Ahead of the games, the figure skater criticized the selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the U.S. delegation at the 2018 Olympics because Pence “doesn’t really stand for anything that I really believe in” and he specifically called out the vice president for what he said were his “anti-gay” views.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon told USA Today. “I’m not buying it.”
“If I had the chance to meet him [Pence] afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation,” he added. “He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump… But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”
“.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!” the vice president tweeted ahead of the winter games.
.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
Past presidents have customarily hosted the Olympians at the White House after the conclusion of each set of games.