Colorado SpringsD.C.News

U.S. Olympic team invited to White House; here’s who’s staying home

Author: Associated Press - March 27, 2018 - Updated: March 29, 2018

AP17350418546963.jpg
Colorado Olympic bidSkier Lindsey Vonn of Vail is expected to decline a White House invitation to Olympic athletes. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

COLORADO SPRINGS — The U.S. Olympic team has been invited to the White House for a visit with President Donald Trump on April 27, leaving the 244 team members about four weeks to decide if they’ll attend.

Four members from the U.S. team — Gus Kenworthy, Adam Rippon, Nathan Chen and Lindsey Vonn — have said they would not go if invited.

Visits to the White House for athletes are a decades-old tradition, though there have been notable absences over the years regardless of who’s in office.

Freestyle skier Kenworthy, from Telluride, and figure skater Rippon are gay. Rippon has said he wouldn’t go because he doesn’t think “somebody like me would be welcome there.”

Skier Vonn, from Vail, has said she would “absolutely not” accept an invitation and that she hoped to represent the “people of the United States, not the president” at the Olympics.

But spokesman Patrick Sandusky of the Colorado Springs-based U.S. Olympic Committee said that so far, RSVP numbers have been robust and in line with past visits.

Associated Press