Lindsey Vonn: I Won't Represent Donald Trump at Olympics or Visit White House

Colorado skier Lindsey Vonn during an interview with CNN on view below.
Colorado skier Lindsey Vonn during an interview with CNN on view below. CNN
In a new interview, Vail's Lindsey Vonn, among the most famous and accomplished skiers ever from the state of Colorado, says that if she makes the United States team for the next Winter Olympics games, to be held during February 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, she will be representing America but not President Donald Trump. Vonn adds that should she be invited to the White House with the squad or after earning a medal, she will not attend.

Vonn, who was born and raised in Minnesota and commuted to Colorado for several years before settling permanently here in the late 1990s, has competed in three Olympics — in 2002, 2006 and 2010 — and in the last event, she won a gold medal in the downhill, becoming the first American woman to do so. Injuries prevented Vonn from competing in the 2014 Olympics, but she's hoping to get back onto the slopes this time around at the venerable (for high-level skiers) age of 33.

Before hanging up her skis, Vonn is also hoping to break the all-time record for World Cup victories. The current mark, 86, was set by Ingemar Stenmark in 1989.

But that doesn't mean Vonn is willing to keep her opinions about Trump to herself, as she makes clear in the following conversation with CNN's Christina MacFarlane from St. Moritz, Switzerland.

When asked how she'll feel competing for the American squad at a time when Donald Trump is the nation's commander-in-chief, Vonn replied, "Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president."

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

If she wins a gold medal and is invited to come to the White House to celebrate the honor, would she attend?

"Absolutely not," Vonn told MacFarlane. "No. But I have to win to be invited." At that point, Vonn paused: "No, actually, I think every U.S. team member is invited. So, no, I won't go."

President Trump has not yet rescinded a potential White House invite to Vonn, as he did in September to Steph Curry after the Golden State Warriors basketball star expressed a lack of enthusiasm for such a visit. But maybe he hasn't heard about her comments yet. After all, we hear he prefers to watch Fox News.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts