Vonn says people have told her they hope she breaks her neck.
Lindsey Vonn posted an Instagram on Tuesday that detailed backlash she's received since she told CNN that she wants to "represent the people of United States, not the President" at the Olympics in PyeongChang.
"My recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now," Vonn wrote. "It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being 'anti-Trump.'"
As I head to France for the next races, I would like to share with you my reflections from the past few days. I've received a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative, about my recent CNN interview. The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans. The Olympics are a non-political event, a chance for everyone to put aside their differences and be on the same "team.". That does not mean that Olympic athletes don't have political opinions. As an American, I am extremely proud that our great nation was founded on principals and ideals where citizens can express our opinions openly. It is a privilege that some others around the world don't have. I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity. My travels around the world have recently made clear that this is no longer how people view the United States. You cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV in Europe without noticing how people are questioning our direction. It seems to me that we must lead with understanding and strive for unity in our relationships throughout the world. As for myself, my recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now. It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being "anti-Trump." We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world? All of this is much bigger than skiing and the Olympics. I am going to take the next two months to focus on what I can do and right now that is competing for my country. In doing that, I will be hoping that we Americans can still be that "shining city on a hill."
The punishment her criticizers are ostensibly referring to is the minor back injury Vonn recently suffered during her attempt to qualify for next year's Games. She is expected to make a full recovery soon enough to compete in remaining qualification events.
Vonn also clarified that her message was that Olympians represent their nations as a whole, rather than a specific political party, leader or agenda.
"The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans."
Vonn is attempting to make a return to the Olympics after a knee injury suffered in 2013 caused her to miss the 2014 Games in Sochi. Vonn won gold in 2010 in the Downhill and has won the most World Cup events of all time with 77. She is one of six women to win a World Cup event in each of the five disciplines of Alpine skiing—Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super Combined.