LINDSEY VONN will be representing the “people of the United States, not the president” at February’s Winter Olympics, the skiing star has said.
She made her remarks about US President Donald Trump in an interview with CNN as the 33-year-old prepares to make what is expected to be her final appearance at an Olympics.
One of the world’s best-known winter sports athletes, Vonn said: “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 that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.”
The 2010 Olympic and eight-time World Cup downhill champion has been plagued with injuries in recent years and missed Sochi 2014, but she is fit again now after breaking her arm a year ago.
Vonn also said she would not accept an invitation to the White House if she were to win gold in Pyeongchang. She is not the first major US athlete to criticise Trump, who has usually wasted little time in retaliating with online abuse.
Vonn’s comments, however, come at a time when the US presence at the Games, now only nine weeks away, is supposedly still “an open question,” according to the US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
The US has made several military threats towards North Korea, whose border is 40 miles from Pyeongchang, and conducted a series of provocative military exercises that rehearse a potential invasion of the country. North Korea has carried out several nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.
Seemingly wanting to keep tensions high, Haley implied that it might be difficult to keep her country’s athletes safe. It was not immediately clear why the US citizens would be in any particular danger. Nor why the US wouldn’t rejoin oft-proposed peace talks if its intention was to keep people safe.
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