Lindsey Vonn has opened up about the backlash she’s received since speaking out against President Donald Trump.
In an Instagram post, Vonn said she’s been receiving both positive and negative feedback stemming from an interview she did with CNN on Dec 7. Vonn told CNN she hopes to represent the people of United States in the upcoming Winter Olympics and not President Trump.
Vonn claims, that since then, people have been attacking her for what she said. Vonn said in her post, “It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being ‘anti-Trump.’ We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating.”
As I head to France for the next races, I would like to share with you my reflections from the past few days. I've received a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative, about my recent CNN interview. The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans. The Olympics are a non-political event, a chance for everyone to put aside their differences and be on the same "team.". That does not mean that Olympic athletes don't have political opinions. As an American, I am extremely proud that our great nation was founded on principals and ideals where citizens can express our opinions openly. It is a privilege that some others around the world don't have. I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity. My travels around the world have recently made clear that this is no longer how people view the United States. You cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV in Europe without noticing how people are questioning our direction. It seems to me that we must lead with understanding and strive for unity in our relationships throughout the world. As for myself, my recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now. It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being "anti-Trump." We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world? All of this is much bigger than skiing and the Olympics. I am going to take the next two months to focus on what I can do and right now that is competing for my country. In doing that, I will be hoping that we Americans can still be that "shining city on a hill."
Skier Lindsey Vonn says she will not represent President Trump when she competes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” she told CNN Thursday.
“I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony,” she added of the competition in February.
“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.”
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Vonn also revealed she would not accept an invitation to the White House should she win a gold medal at the upcoming Olympics.
“Absolutely not,” she said in St. Moritz, Switzerland. “No. But I have to win to be invited. No, actually I think every U.S. team member is invited, so no I won’t go.”
Vonn, 33, is competing for her second Olympic gold in South Korea after winning her first at the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.
The skier is also trying to break Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup victories, which the latter athlete has held since 1989.
Pyeongchang is Vonn’s first Olympics since the 2010 version, where her success made her one of the world’s most recognizable winter sport athletes.
Vonn now boasts a net worth of approximately $3 million, according to Forbes, meaning she is also one of the best-paid competitors in winter sports.
Trump has provoked strong reactions from many of America’s top athletes this year, most notably for repeatedly criticizing the National Football League (NFL).
Scores of NFL employees have knelt during the national anthem this year after Trump called on the league to fire those who did so last September.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began performing the move in 2016 as a racial injustice and police brutality.
Critics argue the gesture is a valid display of free speech, while critics contend that it is unpatriotic and disrespects U.S. military forces