Olympic Skier Gus Kenworthy Has “No Patience” For Trump & Won’t Visit The White House If Invited
One particular U.S. Olympic skier has made no secret of his disdain for Vice President Mike Pence, who led the American delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and he took it a step further on Thursday. Gus Kenworthy said he has "no patience" for Trump or Pence, telling CBS This Morning that he wouldn't visit the White House if he were invited. The athlete is one of the first two openly gay American men ever to compete in the Winter Olympics.
In an interview that aired on Thursday, Kenworthy cited Pence's reported support for gay conversion therapy (which Pence denies supporting), and the president's efforts to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the U.S. military, to help explain why he would not make the trip to the White House if he were asked.
"I mean, when we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy, and are trying to strip trans rights in the military, and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience," Kenworthy said during the CBS interview.
"I'm so proud to be from the U.S. and to be from a country where you are able to voice your political opinions and stand up for what you believe in," Kenworthy continued. "And I think that when you have a platform you have to do that, especially when you feel very strongly about something."
Prior to the start of the games, Kenworthy criticized the selection of Pence to lead the U.S. delegation, calling it a "bad fit" due to the vice president's history of anti-LGBTQ statements and policy proposals. He made the remarks on an episode of Ellen last week.
"It just seems like such a strange choice for me, because I feel like, we're in 2018... we're going into the Olympics, and myself and Adam Rippon are the two first openly gay males competing in the Olympics, and it's just incredible to see how times have changed," Kenworthy said. "But then to have someone leading the delegation that's, like, directly attacked the LGBTQ community, and a cabinet in general that just sort of stands against us and has done things to set us back, it just seems like a bad fit."
Both Kenworthy and Rippon have been outspoken in their opposition to Pence at the games. Last week, Kenworthy posted an Instagram of himself and Rippon, imploring the vice president to "eat your heart out."
As for their Olympic dreams, Rippon has already secured a bronze medal in the men's figure skating team event, and Kenworthy will be competing for the U.S. men's slopestyle ski team on Saturday, Feb. 17. Unlike Rippon, however, he was already the owner of an Olympic medal prior to the 2018 Games; he won a silver medal in the slopestyle during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Kenworthy will reportedly be competing on Saturday with an unexpected injury, although it thankfully wasn't severe enough to force his withdrawal from the event. He broke his thumb during practice and tweeted out a photo of his bandaged hand on Thursday.
But he didn't stop there. Along with the photo, he threw in ― you guessed it! ― another jab at Pence, noting that now he has an excuse to avoid shaking the vice president's hand.
If you're curious to see how Kenworthy's next competition goes, you'll want to check out NBC's broadcast coverage on Saturday. It's scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, so by all means, set that time aside if you're planning to watch. After all, you only get so many chances to watch the world's most elite skiers compete on the global stage.