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Olympic gold medalist: Unlike Trump, "I want to represent our country well"

Donald Trump is such a national humiliation for the United States that athletes who will represent our country in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are deciding they do not want to be associated with him. One such athlete is Lindsey Vonn, a gold medalist Alpine skier. Speaking to CNN‘s Alpine Edge, Vonn made it very […]

By Matthew Chapman - December 07, 2017
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Lindsey Vonn, completing at the alpine ski World Cup finals
Lindsey Vonn, completing at the alpine ski World Cup finals

One such athlete is Lindsey Vonn, a gold medalist Alpine skier.

Speaking to CNN‘s Alpine Edge, Vonn made it very clear that while she is proud to be going to the Olympics, “I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president.”

Vonn went on to explain her feelings:

VONN: 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.

HOST: Would you accept an invitation to the White House if you were to win gold in Pyeongchang?

VONN: Absolutely not.

These are harsh words, but they reflect a sentiment many other athletes have shared — in part because Trump has conducted a relentless campaign to bully and attack NFL and NBA players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality, and started a social media feud with LaVar Ball after the Chinese government released his son back to America.

Some teams, like the Golden State Warriors, have refused invitations to visit the White House under Trump. After the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, the team did visit the White House, but unlike the visit they proudly boasted about with President Barack Obama in 2016, they didn’t bother promoting pictures with Trump.

Because Trump is not capable of holding his office with the requisite dignity, Americans who would under normal circumstances be proud to represent our country have to draw a distinction, like Lindsey Vonn, between the people and the president. A man who works as hard as Trump does to divide the country at home does not get the privilege of unity from Americans abroad.


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