US ambassador to UN says it’s an ‘open question’ whether U.S. athletes will participate in Winter Olympics over safety concerns

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  • US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Fox News that the participation of American athletes in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics was an “open question” amid tensions with North Korea.
  • A spokesman for the US Olympic Committee said that no conversations about skipping the event had taken place, and that the American delegation of athletes plan on fully participating.
  • The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday night that the participation of US athletes in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea was an “open question,” citing concern for the athletes’ safety amid tensions with neighboring North Korea.

“I think those are conversations we are going to have to have, but what have we always said? We don’t ever fear anything, we live our lives,” Haley said when asked if it was safe for athletes to participate in the Olympics during an appearance on Fox News. “And certainly that is a perfect opportunity for all of them to go and do something they have worked so hard for. What we will do is, we will make sure that we’re taking every precaution possible to make sure that they’re safe and to know everything that’s going on around them.”

Haley was also asked if it was a “done deal” that American athletes would be able to participate in the Olympics, to which she said, “There’s an open question. 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?”

You can watch Haley’s comments below.

According to the New York Times, however, a spokesman for the US Olympic Committee Mark Jones said that the possibility of American athletes skipping Pyeongchang 2018 had not been discussed.

“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,” he said in a statement. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place February 9-25, starting with Opening Ceremonies in Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.