Is Melania At The Olympics? The PyeongChang Organizing Committee Was Hoping She'd Come
If you had the opportunity to fly to South Korea and sit in the stands at the 2018 Winter Olympics, your decision would probably be a no-brainer. If the leader of an Olympics organizing committee announced to the world that he'd be happy to have you there, you'd most likely have a hard time saying no. That's the unbelievable position the United States' first lady is in right now. If she wanted, Melania Trump could have participated in the Olympics by joining the presidential delegation.
Back in November, PyeongChang Organizing Committee President and CEO Lee Hee-beom, said he'd love to have "high-level people" taking part in the delegation representing the United States. And he didn't mention the U.S. president. He was more interested in two other people.
Perhaps Melania's speech a few days prior had something to do with Lee's request. The first lady visited visited Seoul on Nov. 7 to help draw attention to the games, and speak about a new initiative called Girls Play 2. The campaign advocates for giving "boys and girls equal access to sports facilities, equipment and to coaches," the Washington Post reported she said. The speech took place during her and Donald Trump's tour of Asia.
Ultimately, Melania wasn't chosen to lead the U.S. delegation in PyeongChang. Instead, Ivanka will be leading the presidential delegation at the closing ceremony. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, will lead the delegation at the Opening Ceremony.
Though Ivanka skipped out on Melania's speech in Seoul, it looks like she'll make it to South Korea after all. As part of the delegation, she and the Pences won't just be cheering on the U.S. athletes. They'll be there to discuss the North Korea threat, as well. As Pence's Deputy Chief of Staff, Jarrod Agen, said in a statement posted to the White House's website,
The location of the games, less than 50 miles away from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, makes the North's nuclear aggression the unavoidable elephant in the room. And that could have played a big role in why the White House chose Pence to lead the delegation instead of a less political figure like Melania.