Athletes from all over the world work so hard to become great with whichever sport they choose, so that they could represent their country in different games worldwide. The glory that they carry especially once they win and come home to their countries is priceless and the recognition of how hard they have worked for is truly something that no medal could suffice.
This is what happened to the athletes who competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics that was held in PyeongChang, South Korea just a few months ago. United States President Donald Trump opened the White House to welcome and honor the athletes who competed and brought home medals for the country. The President along with Vice President Mike Pence was surrounded by the athletes as Trump gave the speech saying how incredible it was for those who made it into the team and especially those who managed to bring home medals.
He even said that they will surely be winners for the rest of their lives. More than 200 athletes were expected to attend the ceremony in the White House including the Paralympics athletes, however, only more than a hundred made an appearance.
Olympians At The White House
The president even puts the spotlight on God medalists Vincent Zhou, who landed the first quadruple lutz, as well as Red Gerard, who was even nervous to be put on the spot when the president asked him to say a few words. The forward of the United States women’s hockey team, Amanda Kessel, was also mentioned by Trump and even joked with her by saying that she must be better than her brother, who is actually the forward of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kessel then said in an interview with USA Today that meeting the president and being honored was indeed an experience that she could consider as something awesome. Some of the athletes who actually made it into the event like Elana Meyers Taylor believes that it is her duty as an American to respect the White House and the president especially since her father was actually a Marine, and so she has to take the wonderful opportunity. She is actually a three-time Olympic medalist in bobsledding.
Current mood: Having no regrets about missing this trip. https://t.co/xxcKxKz6NL
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) April 28, 2018
However, it would seem that some of the most famous Olympians decided not to make an appearance at the White House. Just like skier Lindsey Vonn, who was actually the one chosen to bear the American flag at the opening ceremony, skier Gus Kenworthy was no show as well and even figure skater Adam Rippon. These three were known for not being very fond of the president which is probably one of the main reasons why they decided to skip the event.
Rippon even posted a tweet regarding the White House visit saying how he is not going to stand with those who discriminate others. However, some other athletes who weren’t present at the White House like Chloe Kim and Shaun White, couldn’t actually make it not because they don’t want to be in the same room as the president, but because they have family commitments, which happens to be a wedding. Both White and Kim got siblings who were set to wed that that day.
Trump Thoughts On Paralympics Athletes
It may seem such a fun and wonderful event for honoring those who work hard to represent the country, but it would seem that the president cannot spend the day without making a not-so-nice remark.
During the White House visit, he said that the Paralympics were definitely so inspiring, but then again, he said that it was “a little tough to watch”. This, of course, caused a backlash since it is definitely not something that someone would say especially towards those who are living with disabilities and still manages to represent the country.
Record numbers around the world are not finding @Paralympics tough to watch. 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. https://t.co/3jhr5Fd8tT
— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) April 28, 2018
The official Paralympics Twitter account then posted that they hope that the president would no longer find Paralympics tough to watch since billions of people all over the world managed to watch it. However, according to a source, Trump actually meant to say that it was tough to watch because of his busy schedule and people just took it the wrong way.
Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time that Trump would say something that is obnoxious towards people with disability since in 2016, during the presidential campaign, he mocked a reporter who has a disability in front of the public.