US Winter Olympics stars set to miss White House visit


Adam Rippon won't be visiting the White House on Friday with the 2018 U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

"All US Olympians and Paralympians are invited to visit the White House and meet the President after the Games", tweeted the American, whose kiss with boyfriend Matthew Wilkas in Pyeongchang, South Korea became worldwide news after it was broadcast live on national television.

However, a handful of big name stars are absent. "And, you know, I want to represent our country well, and I don't think there are a lot of people now in our government that do that".

Some athletes are not going because they refuse to support the president, while others have previous engagements.

Several members of the USA team, including Gus Kenworthy, Adam Rippon, Nathan Chen and Lindsey Vonn, had said they wouldn't go to the White House if invited. Figure skater Mirai Nagasu is among four Olympians busy taping "Dancing with the Stars". "It's important for me to align myself with those people who have the same ideals that I have". They joined the Protect Our Winters (POW) contingent to discuss climate change, an issue the Trump administration has chosen not to focus on, with Congress. "They had a lot more people show up than they thought, and you think you know why, right?"

As the first openly gay members of the U.S. Winter Olympics team, Kenworthy and Rippon have used their platforms to protest, and publicly feuded with Vice President Mike Pence prior to the games.

Other U.S. athletes from PyeongChang are expected to miss the visit to the White House, including Olympic champions Chloe Kim, Shaun White and opening ceremony flag bearer Erin Hamlin. "I will not be going", the figure skater tweeted Friday morning.

"I want to represent our country well. 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".