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Olympics skiing star Vonn to snub White House visit for US team

© AFP/File | Lindsey Vonn of the US talks with reporters after her training for the FIS Ski World Cup Women's Downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta in November 2017

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

US skiing star Lindsey Vonn said Thursday she would not go to the White House for a post-Winter Olympics reception, aligning herself with other athletes who have protested against President Donald Trump.

Vonn told CNN in an interview she would be proud to represent the United States at February's Olympics in Pyeongchang but did not see herself as a representative of the US government.

"Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president," Vonn told CNN.

"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."

Asked if she would attend any possible White House reception for the US Olympic team after the Games -- a common tradition -- Vonn replied: "Absolutely not."

Vonn is arguably the most well-known member of the US Winter Olympic team, having won four World Cup overall championships as well as an Olympic gold in the downhill at the 2010 Games. She missed the 2014 Games through injury.

The 33-year-old is the latest in a series of prominent US athletes who have snubbed the Trump administration.

Golden State Warriors basketball star Stephen Curry earlier this year indicated he was reluctant to attend a White House reception for the NBA champions -- prompting Trump to disinvite the team.

"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump wrote on Twitter in September.

That prompted Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James to weigh in on Curry's behalf, replying to Trump: "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going. So therefore ain't no invite. Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

© 2017 AFP