Why Ivanka Trump Is Going to the Olympics

February 22, 2018, 9:23 AM UTC

Ivanka Trump is Olympics-bound on Thursday; she’ll lead the American delegation at the closing ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea this weekend.

While high-level members of the North Korean delegation will also be present at the event, White House officials have asserted that Trump’s trip is not intended to facilitate a meeting with the North Koreans. Instead, Trump reportedly plans to focus on reaffirming U.S.-South Korean relations and cheer on American athletes participating in the Games.

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In a statement, Trump said, “I am honored to lead the U.S. delegation to the closing ceremonies of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. We look forward to congratulating Team USA and celebrating all that our athletes have achieved. Their talent, drive, grit, and spirit embodies American excellence, and inspire us all.”

Trump is scheduled to have dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on Friday and will then attend the Games on Saturday and the closing ceremony on Sunday. Moon reportedly “pleaded” with President Donald Trump to send high-level delegations to the opening and closing ceremonies, and when Trump declined going himself, he decided to send his daughter, who also serves as his senior advisor.

Read: Ivanka Trump’s Memorable First Year in the White House

Along with Ivanka Trump, the delegation will include White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, along with members of the military, and Marc Knapper from the U.S. embassy in Seoul.

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