President Donald Trump honored a large contingent of Winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the White House today, but left-stream media focused on the small number of athletes who were not in attendance. The Huffington Post, People and TIME magazines dwelt on athletes who oppose the Administration's politics and five others who met with congressmen on behalf of the climate alarmist group Protect Our Winters, which believes "the world is getting hotter and it's our fault."
Ryan Grenoble, a national writer for HuffPo, began his report by writing: "If members from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic squads had to pick teams during their Friday visit to the White House, there’s one player some would avoid at all costs: President Donald Trump. Quite a few high-profile athletes who represented the U.S. at the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were conspicuously absent from the gathering, pointedly avoiding meeting a president with whom they disagree on plenty of issues."
"Quite a few" was more like three notable names who boycotted. They were alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, figure skater Adam Rippon and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who have all been critical of Trump and Vice-president Mike Pence--before, during and after the Winter Games in South Korea.
Grenoble wrote that Rippon had "called out Vice President Mike Pence during the Games for his anti-LGBTQ track record" and "seized the opportunity Friday to once again highlight this administration’s discriminatory policies." Rippon ripped on Pence through both Twitter and adoring, supportive media (remember the hugs from Good Morning America?). This morning he tweeted:
"Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today. I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different. In lieu of going to DC, I have donated to a few of my favorite causes"
Grenoble posted Rippon's sarcastic social media suggestion that by making donations to GLAAD, Planned Parenthood and the American Red Cross, his followers can lift up people and truly make America great again. (Planned Parenthood is "making America great again" by tragically ending lives in abortion mills?)
Kenworthy, another homosexual athlete and activist, identified with the resistance to Trump in a tweet yesterday:
“All US Olympians and Paralympians are invited to visit the White House and meet the President after the Games. Today is this year’s visit and USOC spokesperson says he’s never seen so many athletes turn down their invites. The resistance is real.”
The reporter did not add the fact that the president and vice-president were surrounded by a huge throng of Olympians and paralympians who did attend the White House ceremony.
TIME's Sarah Cooney posted no less than four of Rippon's attack tweets and this quote by the homosexual skater/activist:
“This Administration ran on a platform of fear. I don’t think that’s any way for us to live. I would never want my sister to be spoken to the way Donald Trump has spoken to women. I would never want anyone to talk to my mother that way. And my mother would never tolerate one of her sons doing that, either. I think we can do better."
Vonn said in December she wanted to represent the American people at the Olympics, not President Trump.
"[C]hose not to visit the White House, according to the Washington Post. She did not speak publicly about her decision, but told CNN in 2016: 'The value that [Trump] portrays to everyone is not ideal… I don’t think women are going to be looking to him. I think they still look to Hillary [Clinton].'”
The Olympians representing the climate change group at Congress were David Wise, Stacey Cook, Maddie Phaneuf, Arielle Gold and Jessie Diggins.
Obviously the media cited above exaggerated and it's really a pretty short list of athletes who, for stated political reasons, boycotted the White House ceremony. Among the others not in attendance were figure skater Mirai Nagasu (occupied with her participation in Dancing with the Stars) and snowboarders Chloe Kim and Shaun White (attending weddings). Erin Hamlin had carried the flag into the Games' opening ceremonies, but the star luger visited the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center on Friday morning.