COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Olympic team has been invited to the White House for a visit April 27, leaving the 244 members about four weeks to decide if they’ll attend.
Four members from the U.S. team — Gus Kenworthy, Adam Rippon, Nathan Chen and Lindsey Vonn — have said they would not go if invited.
Visits to the White House are a decades-old tradition, though there have been notable absences over the years regardless of who’s in office.
Kenworthy and Rippon are gay. Rippon has said he wouldn’t go because he doesn’t think “somebody like me would be welcome there.”
Vonn has said she would “absolutely not” accept an invitation and that she hoped to represent the “people of the United States, not the president” at the Olympics.
But USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said so far RSVP numbers have been robust and in line with past visits.
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Tony Granato isn’t planning to show “Miracle” to his players as a source of inspiration.
“To win, we don’t need a miracle,” Granato said. “We need to be our best and to play our best for two weeks to win this tournament.”
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Even so, members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team see parallels to the 1980 “Miracle On Ice” group that beat the Soviet Union and won the gold medal. Only 39-year-old captain Brian Gionta was alive then and was too young to remember it, but the movie and USA Hockey history have allowed these players to make a connection.
“That opportunity that they got is a lot of parallels to the opportunity we’re getting today in this Olympics,” forward Brian O’Neill said. “I think if you’re a normal U.S.A. hockey player, you look at the 1980 team regardless, but us being in very similar situations, it definitely gives us a lot of motivation and inspiration.”
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Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson’s record breaking performance helped Team USA defeat the Olympic Athletes from Russia, 5-0.
The three-time Olympian scored twice within six seconds in the second period to set a new Olympic record for the shortest time between goals. Sweden’s Carl Goran Oberg held the previous record, scoring twice in eight seconds during the 1960 Winter Games.
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Nicole Hensley made 13 saves in her Olympic debut as OAR was shut out for the second time in as many appearances.
Kacey Bellamy and Gigi Marvin also scored for Team USA, who will face Canada in its next match, a potential gold medal preview.