Lindsey Vonn is the latest athlete to criticize Donald Trump. The Olympic skier said she plans on representing the American people, not the president, when she shoots for gold at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February.
Speaking to CNN in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Vonn said, “Well I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president” at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony,” Vonn 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.”
Vonn also said that she wouldn’t accept an invitation to go to the White House if she were to win at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
This will be Vonn’s first Olympics since the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, where she won gold in the Downhill and bronze in the Super-G. She had to withdraw from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi because of a knee injury.
And this Olympics is a big deal for Vonn. Not only is she coming back after her injury, but Vonn has also announced that this is the last Olympics in which she’s going to participate. Plus, this year, Vonn is hoping to break the record of 86 World Cup victories that Ingemar Stenmark has held since 1989, on top of winning gold.
But despite this being a big moment for her, Vonn is still using her voice to speak out against an administration she doesn’t feel represents our country well. Just because she’s an athlete, doesn’t mean Vonn is afraid to talk about politics.
“It’s not necessarily my place to be sticking my nose in politics, but as an athlete I do have a voice,” the skier explained. She added that she “was asked my opinion and I gave it.”
Of course, Vonn is far from the first athlete to clash with Trump. The president famously got into a racially-charged feud with NFL players who have been taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest alleged police violence. The movement, of course, was started by Colin Kaepernick, who Vonn said was an athlete and activist she admired.
And similarly to Vonn, other athletes have refused to accept an invitation to the White House after a win. Several members of the New England Patriots decided not to visit the White House after they won the Super Bowl. And Trump rescinded his invitation to have the Golden State Warriors visit the White House after Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to go.
Trump isn’t the only president who has had athletes not accept an invitation to the White House, but more athletes do seem to be speaking out and getting political in recent months.