Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy boycott Donald Trump reception for Olympians
Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy are among Olympians boycotting a White House reception for Winter Olympians today.
The two gay athletes have made no secret of their animosity towards the Republican leader and Vice President Mike Pence.
As members of Team USA head to DC today to meet with the leader, both confirmed they would not be attending.
Figure skating bronze medallist Adam Rippon said: “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.”
Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy added: “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.”
Rippon is currently busy appearing on Dancing with the Stars.
Speaking to USA Today, Rippon said: “It’s a convenient out, but I was not going or planning on going (to the White House) anyway.
“I have been invited to so many incredible things, to the Human Rights Campaign dinner, the GLAAD Media Awards. I was so honored and so excited to go to those, more so than I would be to go to the White House.
“I feel like it was more important for me to go to those events because it’s a cause that I really believe in, it’s a message that I believe in. It’s important for me to align myself with those people who have the same ideals that I have.”
A string of other Olympians have also turned down the invites, fearing being associated with the culturally-toxic leader.
Lindsey Vonn, Erin Hamlin, Chloe Kim, Jessie Diggins, and David Wise are among the other Winter Olympic heroes giving it a miss.
Kenworthy previously said he would not attend.
He said: “When we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy and are trying to strip trans rights in the military and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience.”
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Kenworthy sported the hat on top of his Winter Olympics uniform as he made a video in support of LGBT non-profit the Human Rights Campaign.
He said: “I am a huge supporter of the Human Rights Campaign because they’re a huge supporter of me.
“It’s been an incredible Olympics – we’ve seen so much change, so much progress, and so much visibility for the LGBT community, and that’s been incredible.
“I don’t think we would be anywhere near where are are without all the hard work the Human Rights Campaign has done. You guys have changed lives, you have saved lives, and I cannot thank you enough.”