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Gay US Olympians dig in on feud with vice president: 'Eat your heart out, Pence'
The first two openly gay male U.S. winter Olympians are doubling down on their feud with Vice President Pence over his record on LGBTQ rights.
Freeskier Gus Kenworthy posted a photo on Instagram of himself and figure skater Adam Rippon with a caption that calls out Pence, who is leading the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Olympics, by name. Rippon was named to the U.S. Olympic team first, making history as the first openly gay man to represent the country in the Winter Olympics. Kenworthy was named to the team a few weeks later.
"The Opening Ceremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way!" Kenworthy wrote. "I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I'm so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence."
He also used the hashtag "TeamUSGay," adding American flag and Pride flag emojis.
Kenworthy earlier in February called Pence a "strange choice" and a "bad fit" to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics.
"To have somebody leading the delegation that's directly attacked the LGBTQ community, and a Cabinet in general that just sort of stands against us and has tried to do things to set us back, it just seems like a bad fit," Kenworthy said.
Rippon has been outspoken about his views on Pence and President Trump, saying in an interview earlier this year that he would decline an invitation to the White House because he doesn't think he would be "welcome" as a gay athlete.
"I don't think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up," Rippon said. "Mike Pence doesn't really stand for anything that I believe in."
As the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang began, it was reported that Rippon declined a meeting with Pence, which the vice president's office, Rippon and Rippon's mother all denied.
Pence tweeted that the report was "fake news" and that he supports all U.S. athletes at the Olympics.
Pence's record on LGBTQ rights, including signing a religious freedom law as Indiana governor that many said would have legalized anti-gay discrimination, has made him a top adversary of the gay community.