Why Ivanka Trump Is Going To The Olympics

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Ivanka Trump will lead the U.S. presidential delegation at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Olympic Games will be held from February 9 to 25.
A White House official told CNN that Trump, who is an unpaid senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was asked to attend by her father and the United States Olympic Committee. She is also planning to attend some of the competitions in which the U.S. is participating.
The president's daughter has had a busy travel schedule in the past year. She traveled to Japan, where she delivered a speech on women’s empowerment, and to India, where she discussed women's rights and economic empowerment at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. She attended the G20 summit in Germany in July, and briefly sat in for her father.
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Last month, Trump tweeted her excitement for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence are leading the delegation in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. According to the Associated Press, the Pences arrived in Japan on Tuesday.
Freeskier Gus Kenworthy — one of the first openly gay male athletes to represent the U.S. in the Winter Olympics — criticized the choice of vice president Pence to lead the delegation given his record on LGBTQ rights.
“[Pence] seems like such a strange choice,” Kenworthy said Monday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“To have somebody leading the delegation that’s directly attacked the LGBTQ community, and a Cabinet in general that just sort of stands against us and has tried to do things to set us back; it just seems like a bad fit,” Kenworthy told DeGeneres.
The White House official told CNN that additional members of the delegation will be announced in the next few days.
During the trip, Pence will also "reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea the United States’ unwavering commitment to our allies and to deter and defend against the North Korean threat," according to the White House. His efforts come against a backdrop of nuclear tension in the region, but the two Koreas are in diplomatic talks — which is a big progress — and have agreed to march together in the opening ceremony.
We reached out to Ivanka Trump's office at the White House and will update this story when we hear back.
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