Gay Olympian fights critics of decision to skip White House visit

U.S. Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy on Saturday fired back at critics saying athletes who skipped the White House visit with President Trump shouldn’t get government funding.

“To those saying @Adaripp and I shouldn’t get gov’t funding since we skipped the White House visit: WE DON’T! Absolutely $0,” Kenworthy tweeted, mentioning fellow Olympian Adam Rippon.

“The US is one of the only countries that doesn’t pay a penny to [its] Olympic team to train/ compete. All money comes from sponsors and private donations.”

Kenworthy and Rippon, a figure skater, are the first two openly gay men to represent the U.S. at the Winter Olympics.


Both athletes criticized Trump and Vice President Pence during the games earlier this year for their policies toward the LGBT community.

Kenworthy made good on his promise from February that he would skip a visit to the White House if invited because he has “no patience” for the administration’s actions “attacking” the LGBT community.

“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,” he said.

Rippon also passed on the invitation last week, saying he didn’t think he would be welcomed at the White House. 

“Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today,” Rippon tweeted Friday. “I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different.”

Trump garnered backlash from the Paralympic Games late this week for commenting during the White House celebration about how the games were “tough to watch.” 

“What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me,” he said during his remarks. “And I watched — it’s a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could.”

The organization fired back on Saturday, tweeting that it hopes he “continues to watch and be inspired.” 

“Record numbers around the world are not finding @Paralympics tough to watch,” the tweet read. “Billions of viewers now take in the Paralympics in hundreds of countries around the world. We hope the US President continues to watch and be inspired by the Paralympics.”

Kenworthy also took a swipe at Trump by sharing a picture of himself with former President Obama, writing, “I miss the days when the Team USA White House visit didn’t include a part where the President made fun of our Paralympic team…”

Tags Adam Rippon Donald Trump Gus Kenworthy Paralympics President Trump Vice President Pence White House visit Winter Olympics

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