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Adam Rippon: First openly gay US winter Olympian will boycott Team USA's White House visit

The Independent logo The Independent 13/02/2018 Alexandra Wilts
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The first openly gay US winter Olympian has said he will boycott Team USA’s visit to the White House following the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea.

US figure skater Adam Rippon has made it clear that he is not a fan of the Trump administration, saying his decision to snub the White House’s invitation would be a protest against what he views as homophobia among the country’s leadership.

“No. I have no desire to go to the White House,” the 28-year-old bronze medalist told the Daily Mail. “But I would like to do something to help my community.” 

Olympians are typically invited to the White House for a reception.

Mr Rippon added he would want to do “something positive and not just stay at home” during the traditional White House visit.

The athlete also told the BBC earlier this month that he wouldn't go to the White House if he were invited.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest medal tables, event schedules and news from Pyeongchang

“I won’t go to the White House,” Mr Rippon told the BBC in an interview. “I don’t think somebody like me would be welcome there. I know what it’s like to go into a room and feel like you’re not wanted there.”

Last month, Mr Rippon condemned the decision to have Vice President Mike Pence lead the 2018 US Olympic delegation to South Korea.

Mr Pence is known for his profoundly conservative views on marriage equality and LGBT rights.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” the first-time Olympian said in an interview with USA Today.

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