“I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” the ski champion, 33, told CNN correspondent Christina MacFarlane on Thursday, December 7. “I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony. I want to represent our country well. I don’t think there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.”
When asked if she would accept an invitation to the White House should she win a gold medal in Pyeongchang, Vonn didn’t hesitate with her response: “Absolutely not. No. But I have to win to be invited. No, actually I think every U.S. team member is invited, so no, I won’t go.”
The 2018 Games will mark the athlete’s first since the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, where she won a gold medal in the downhill competition and bronze in the super-G event. She was forced to withdraw from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, due to a knee injury.
Vonn wouldn’t be the first athlete to turn down an invitation to the White House. Several members of the New England Patriots declined to visit Trump, 71, after winning the Super Bowl this February. Then, in September, the president rescinded the Golden State Warriors’ invitation after the NBA team’s point guard, Stephen Curry, said he did not want to go.
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