The executives of US Figure Skating have warned against any type of boycott by the American team in Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The warning came after Sen. Lindsey Graham’s comment about US teams boycotting the next month’s game where North Korea is also competing. USFS President Sam Auxier said, “Graham and others “need to be careful” about the American team not participating. They shouldn’t be playing politics with this.”
The USFS executive director David Raith said about involvement of politics in Olympic process, “It doesn’t help anybody. We’ll be there.”
Sen. Graham said, “Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in [the] Winter Olympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet,”
The South Carolina Republican tweeted. “I’m confident South Korea will reject this absurd overture and fully believe that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we do not.”
On one hand where the heated arguments and counter-arguments are made, the American Figure Skaters are shying away to be drawn in this debate as they are concentrating on the national championship, which also serves as the Olympic Trials.
Auxier also added, “It was a disaster in 1980 for many of the athletes that couldn’t go [to the Summer Games in Moscow because of a U.S.-led boycott. And I’d hate to see that just because [President] Trump and Kim Jong-un are trying to see which button’s bigger.”
Both Auxier and Raith said that the U.S. athletes expect to be in Pyeongchang for the Olympics.
Raith said, “The USOC is planning to go. We’re planning to go. We’re planning to field a team. Our athletes are training and there is nothing today that says we’re not going to compete.”