Trump welcomes Team USA to White House, many big names opt out
Team USA capped off a week in Washington with a visit to the White House and had the opportunity to meet president Donald Trump, but the results of who attended were mixed.
Around 200 Olympians and Paralympians were expected to make the trip out of the 316 total athletes who competed in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February but only an estimated 150 were reportedly in attendance on Friday.
Snowboarding gold medallist Red Gerard, figure skater Vincent Zhou and Amanda Kessel of the women's hockey team were among the athletes that Trump called out for their success at the Winter Olympics.
"You pulled it off. Incredible," Trump said. "To be on the team and for those who won medals, all of you are winners. Just total winners. You are going to be winners in life."
Despite most athletes visiting the White House, there were still several big names from the Winter Games who did not attend.
The most notable being figure skater Adam Rippon, who drew attention before the Olympics when he was involved in a feud with vice-president Mike Pence over gay rights.
Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today. I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different. In lieu of going to DC, I have donated to a few of my favorite causes https://t.co/qDXqswTHdF-- Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 27, 2018
He wrote in part on Twitter, "I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different."
Skier Gus Kenworthy was another athlete who shared his thoughts on Twitter saying, "The resistance is real."
Besides political beliefs, there are other reasons given for why some of the athletes missed the White House event as Nagasu is one of four Olympians competing in "Dancing with the Stars."
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
Opening ceremony flag bearer Erin Hamlin said she visited Johns Hopkins Children's Center Friday instead.
The event marks the first time Olympians have visited since Trump took office in January 2017.