Over half of Team USA went the the White House on Friday to meet with President Donald Trump, but a few of the biggest names were missing. Citing everything from packed schedules to political differences, here’s a list of the Olympians who chose not to make the trip.
Figure skater Adam Rippon, who famously tangled with Vice President Mike Pence as the 2018 Winter Games began, said at the time that he would not be attending. He has made good on that promise, saying that he’d prefer to support causes he truly believes in.
“It’s a convenient out, but 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.”
The majority of the U.S. figure skating team, currently participating in “Stars on Ice” in Pittsburgh, also missed the White House visit.
Skier Gus Kenworthy is sitting out the visit for purely political reasons, and cheered others who are doing the same. He tweeted Thursday that more athletes have turned down this year’s invitation than ever before.
All US Olympians and Paralympians are invited to visit the White House and meet the President after the Games. Today is this year’s visit and USOC spokesperson says he’s never seen so many athletes turn down their invites. The resistance is real. https://t.co/6mKJGicWDS
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) April 26, 2018
Skier Lindsay Vonn, who also said prior to the games in Pyeongchang that she had no interest in meeting with President Trump, was among those missing on Friday morning.
“I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the President.”
— CNN Sport (@cnnsport) December 7, 2017
Others who won’t be attending the White House visit include luger and Opening Ceremony flag-bearer Erin Hamlin, snowboarder Chloe Kim, cross-country skier Jessie Diggins, freestyle skier David Wise, Alpine skier Stacey Cook, biathlete Maddie Phaneuf and snowboarder Arielle Gold.