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Trump Supporters’ New Version of Patriotism Involves Mocking Olympic Athletes


olympics lindsey vonn skier trump trolls

There was a lot of hype around downhill skier Lindsey Vonn going into this year’s Olympic games. A championed athlete, she covered the 2014 Olympics as a correspondent due to injuries, so this year marked her return to the games after eight years away. So it was disappointing when she stumbled during her super-g run and lost her shot at a medal.

What ended up being entirely more disappointing–disgraceful, really–was the reaction from so many Trump supporters online, who took the opportunity to mock and disparage Vonn over her loss.

Back in December, Vonn was asked by CNN how it felt to be competing during a Trump presidency. She responded by saying, “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.”

When asked if she would accept the traditional post-games invitation the White House, her response was a solid no. “Absolutely not,” she said. “No. But I have to win to be invited. No actually I think every US team member is invited so no I won’t go.”

So when Vonn failed to medal (whether or not that would be required for a White House invitation), Trump’s supporters took that as motivation for mockery.

The GOP has always prided themselves on being the “patriotic” party, that insist they love America more than those damn liberals. Where is the patriotism in mocking athletes representing their country at the Olympics? How does this make any sense at all? Can you think of anything more partisan, more representative of the party-over-country mentality than the trolling of Olympic athletes after a loss?

If only it were random trolls and bots who were doing this. But alas …

That was in response to out gay figure skater and self-described America’s Sweetheart Adam Rippon saying he didn’t want his Olympic experience “to be about Mike Pence.”

As for Vonn, she’s taking the trolling in stride. ESPN commentator Julie Foudy posted about the trolling.

Vonn responded,

I’m so glad Vonn isn’t letting the trolls get to her. But as Foudy says, while Vonn may be the target, this mentality is a threat to us all.

(image: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.