Lindsey Vonn made headlines months ago, when she said that she would not travel to the White House to celebrate her victories after the Winter Olympics. Now that Vonn has suffered a major setback by failing to medal in the Super-G, the internet is not letting the skier forget her past statements.
In a December 7th interview with CNN, Vonn stated that she would not go to the White House to celebrate the Olympics. Moreover, Vonn said that she did not represent Trump. Instead, the skier claimed that she represented the “people of the United States.”
“I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president. I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony.
“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,” Vonn told CNN.
When asked if she would accept an invitation to meet with Trump at the White House, Vonn did not hold back.
“Absolutely not. Nope. But I have to win to be invited. No, actually, I think every US team member is invited, so no, I won’t go,” she said. In the same interview, Vonn said the rest of the world no longer viewed America as a country of hope.
However, after failing to medal in the Super-G event on Saturday, Vonn faced a wave of social media criticism from those who felt it was “karma,” that she had lost. The Daily Mail compiled a list of comments directed at Vonn.
“Lindsey Vonn is the latest to suffer from ‘Trump Effect’. Should keep your mouth shut and race. Don’t insult us,’ said one Trump supporter.
“Karma is a mo fo. Glad to see you lose. You’re an anti-American,’ said another.
“Karma will always bite you… that’s what you get for trying to get political when you should have just focused on the Olympics.
‘Tisk tisk, but hey, now you don’t have to worry about not going to the White House! Only winners go to the White House!”
According to the Daily Mail, Vonn brushed off the criticisms when she returned to the slopes on Sunday.
‘That is what bullies want you to do. They want to defeat you and I am not defeated, I am the same. I stand by my values and I am not going to back down. I may not be as vocal right now with my opinions but that doesn’t mean they have won. I haven’t changed my mind.”
Vonn attempted to put out the political firestorm she started, shortly after making her comments about President Trump. In December, Vonn took to Instagram to say that the Olympics are not a forum for politics.
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."
Despite her struggles on Saturday, Vonn still has a chance for success this week.
According to the Daily Mail:
Vonn is considered the person to beat in the downhill.
That’s long been her best event, the one in which she’s produced 42 of her women’s-record 81 World Cup race wins, including three in a row heading into the Olympics.
She also owns four downhill world championships medals, including a gold in 2009.
Vonn has looked in top form in training, clocking Sunday’s top time on the 1-mile course, before easing up and standing tall with arms spread at the finish on Monday.
‘She is definitely the favorite,’ said Italy’s Sofia Goggia, who was second in training Monday, behind only Austria’s Stephanie Venier, the runner-up at last year’s world championships.
There is more Alpine downhill training Tuesday.
The internet will be watching.