Olympian Skips White House Visit, Donates to Planned Parenthood Instead

Figure skater Adam Rippon at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 7, 2018. (John Sibley/Reuters)

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon decided to donate to Planned Parenthood in lieu of attending Team USA’s traditional White House visit on Friday.

“Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today,” Rippon wrote Friday on Twitter. “I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different.”

Rippon encouraged his followers to join him in donating to Planned Parenthood, GLAAD, and the Red Cross instead.

“If you want to join me and you’re able to give a little, go for it!” he tweeted. “I think when we’re able to help each other out and do what we can to lift each other up, that’s when we’re truly making America great.”

Rippon, the first openly gay U.S. Olympian to win a medal at a Winter Olympics said he did not feel welcome at the White House. He had previously criticized Vice President Mike Pence’s stance on LGBT rights in January, saying Pence does not have a “real concept of reality.”

Rippon was not the only athlete to skip the White House visit. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, snowboarder Chloe Kim, and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, the second openly gay athlete on an American Winter Olympics team, also declined the invitation.

“Today is this year’s visit and USOC spokesperson says he’s never seen so many athletes turn down their invites. The resistance is real,” Kenworthy tweeted on Thursday.

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