US Team still planning for Olympics despite confusion

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley surprised the U.S. Olympic Committee by suggesting the nation's participation at the upcoming Pyeongchang Games in South Korea was "an open question," and the USOC responded by saying it has no plans on pulling out.

"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.

"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 make sure that we are taking every precaution possible, to make sure that they are safe," Haley said.

“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. We plan on supporting two full delegations in PyeongChang,” U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Jones said in a statement.

The IOC said Wednesday that the security situation remains unchanged despite continued missile tests by North Korea and sustained rhetoric between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump.

“There is full support from the United Nations, very positive message coming out of the assembly,” said Christophe Dubi, the executive director of the Olympic Games. “A number of heads of states have expressed themselves in this respect. We are really confident in this, so this message can be relayed to the athletes by the (National Olympic Committees).”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the goal is still to send American athletes to compete in the PyeongChang Games, but a decision won’t come until a later date. She said that decision would involve multiple government agencies, “but I think ultimately the president would certainly weigh in. That’s something he would take into account, probably a number of the stakeholders that would be involved.”

The PyeongChang Olympics are schedule to begin Feb. 9, in a mountainous region located about 50 miles from the demilitarized zone between the two Korean states. While Olympic organizers have downplayed the threat posed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile last week that demonstrated a potential, at least theoretically, to deliver a nuclear warhead to Washington, D.C.

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