Gus Kenworthy hits back after complaints he boycotted White House Olympic reception
Gus Kenworthy caused a stir when he opted to reject his invite to the White House reception for Winter Olympians.
The gay athlete made no secret of his animosity towards Republican politician Vice President Mike Pence while competing, and it seems he’s sticking to his guns long after.
Both Kenworthy and fellow out athlete Adam Rippon rejected their invites, among other stars of Team USA.
Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy said at the time: “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.”
Some criticised the decision, saying it wasn’t in the spirit of the Olympics.
Now he’s hit back at the criticism – defending himself against people who called for funding cuts to his sport.
“To those saying @Adaripp [Adam Rippon] and I shouldn’t get gov’t funding since we skipped the White House visit: WE DON’T!
“Absolutely $0. The US is one of the only countries that doesn’t pay a penny to it’s Olympic team to train/ compete. All money comes from sponsors and private donations,” he tweeted.
Figure skating bronze medallist Adam Rippon also boycotted the event, saying beforehand: “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.”
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Rippon is currently busy appearing on Dancing With the Stars.
A string of other Olympians also turned down the invites, fearing being associated with the Trump White House.
Lindsey Vonn, Erin Hamlin, Chloe Kim, Jessie Diggins, and David Wise were among the other Winter Olympic heroes who missed the reception.
Kenworthy previously explained why 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.”