Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will reportedly lead the United States delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month. The rest of the delegation has not yet been announced, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they are finalizing the delegation and will announce it soon.
Pence will also visit Alaska and Japan on his trip to review intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) defense systems and “reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea that the United States is fully committed to stability in the region,” according to Reuters.
As Bleacher Report noted, only once has the President, Vice President or First Lady not been a member of the United States delegation since the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Barack Obama broke the mold in 2013 when he chose to send a message by selecting openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow to represent the United States delegation for the 2014 Summer Olympics in Sochi, Russia – a move that was seen to be in direct response to Russia’s passing of an anti-gay law.
The 2018 Winter Olympics begin on February 8th, and the opening ceremony will take place on February 9th and the closing ceremony will take place on February 25th.