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Winter Olympics: White House Clarifies 'No Decision' on US Participation

Kelsey Patterson

12/07/2017

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that officials had not decided whether the United States would participate in 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Hours later, however, she declared that the US "looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics."

On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that it was "open question" whether American athletes would attend the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang due to security concerns being so close to North Korea's border.

"I have not heard anything about that, but I do know in the talks that we have — whether it's Jerusalem or North Korea—it's about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?" Haley said to Fox News.

During the White House's press briefing on Thursday, Sanders expanded on those comments.

"No official decision has been made on that and we'll keep you guys posted as those decisions are made," Sanders said.

"I think that's an inner agency process but ultimately the President would certainly weigh in but again, that's certainly something that he would take into account and probably a number of the stakeholders that would be involved," she added.

The United States Olympic Committee said they were not aware that declining to send a team was ever a possibility.

“We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” USOC spokesperson Mark Jones said in a statement. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held Feb. 9-25.

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