Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn Reveals Decision On Visiting Trump’s White House

The Winter Olympics are less than two months away, but the political posturing among athletes has already begun.

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Lindsey Vonn, the most accomplished female skiier in U.S. history, has made it clear she will be competing on behalf of her country — at the very least, for the Democrats in her country — and in no way, shape or form with the hopes of making the president proud.

“Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” Vonn told CNN’s Alpine Edge.

“I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony,” she added. “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.”

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Vonn also said she wouldn’t accept an invitation to the White House of President Donald Trump if she were to win gold at the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“Absolutely not,” said Vonn. “No. But I have to win to be invited. No, actually I think every U.S. team member is invited, so no, I won’t go.

Vonn won the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Olympics, the first time an American woman won gold in that event.

She missed the 2014 Olympics because of a torn ACL and has since suffered a broken bone in her leg. She returned to the World Cup circuit, where she has four career overall titles, in January after an 11-month layoff.

Vonn, now 33, may be the best-known American female skiier, but she is no longer the country’s highest-ranked. That honor belongs to Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, who became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in the 2014 Games.

Shiffrin leads the current World Cup standings for the overall title, and she also ranks as the No. 1 downhill skiier in the standings.

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Vonn, meanwhile, is ranked 60th overall in the World Cup and 19th in the downhill standings.

Vonn is almost certainly not the last American athlete who will attempt to use his or her Olympic exposure in an effort to criticize Trump. But those looking to turn their Olympic success into gold with lucrative endorsement contracts may want to remember the immortal words of basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

When asked more than 20 years ago why he wasn’t more vocal about his political beliefs, Jordan was quoted as saying, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

The remark was a reference to his highly lucrative line of Air Jordan sneakers from Nike, and Jordan was essentially saying he didn’t want to mix politics with business.

Today, politics and sports seem like they can’t be separated. Ironically, that separation had always been one of the most appealing aspects of the Olympic Games.

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via wc