US Winter Olympians who competed in PyeongChang are heading to the White House this week, but some of the most notable names are skipping the prestigious event.
The 2018 Winter Olympics were, at times, used by athletes to vocalize their dissatisfaction with the Trump administration.
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, figure skater Adam Rippon and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy have all spoke out against the administration. They are among a large swath of about 60 Olympians who will not attend the White House reception this year.
Chloe Kim, Mirai Nagasu, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Shaun White are also not visiting the White House for the April 27 dinner hosted by President Trump, for various reasons.
Lindsey Vonn (left) has spoken out about her own journey at the 2018 Olympics, giving an interview beforehand saying she was there to ‘represent the people of the United States, not the president.’ She will not be attending the White House reception. However Shaun White won’t attend because he will be at a wedding (right)
Figure skater Adam Rippon (left) has been vocal about his disdain for the Trump administration, and in particular, of VP Pence and said he would not be attending the dinner. Meanwhile Mirai Nagasu (right) is not attending because she is prepping for DWTS
The invites were extended to about 200 Winter Olympians and Paralympians with roughly one-third of Team USA declining to participate in the festivities at nation’s capital, according to AOL News.
Kenworthy and Vonn have spoken openly about their disdain for the president, however, not everyone bowing out has politics in mind.
Kim and White said they are attending weddings, while Nagasu and others are preparing for ‘Dancing With The Stars.’
Rippon, who was the first openly gay U.S. athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics, had called out Vice President Mike Pence, who is opposed to gay rights.
He told DailyMail.com in February: ‘I have no desire to go to the White House. But I would like to do something to help my community.
‘I have kind of spoken out a lot and I’d like to do something positive and not just stay at home.’
Rippon added he would likely host an event to highlight his campaign against homophobia and support for gay rights.
Kenworthy, who is also openly gay, joked during the Olympics that he was happy with a hand injury so he wouldn’t have to shake Pence’s hand.
Vonn said in an interview before the Olympics that she will be skiing for the people of America, not for the president.
Not a fan: Some of the Team USA Olympic team won’t be attending the White House reception because of their political views, however others simply have scheduling conflicts
Vice President Mike Pence caught the ire of openly gay Olympians, Rippon and Kenworthy for his views of gay rights
The White House invitation for winning American teams is part of a longstanding tradition.
The New England Patriots, the Houston Astros, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Alabama Crimson Tide have all visited the White House.
However, when Trump invited the Golden State Warriors, he ultimately withdrew the offer after Steph Curry criticized the president’s policies.
Meanwhile, the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles have yet to accept the White House’s invitation.