With tensions between North Korea and the United States threatening to boil over, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says it is an “open question” whether American athletes will be sent to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics set to take place Feb 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Those are conversations we’re gonna have to have,” she told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “We don’t ever fear anything — we live our lives, we use our freedom, we have that — and certainly that’s a perfect opportunity for [American Olympic athletes] to go and do something they’ve worked so hard for.”
After Haley’s response, MacCallum brought back the question to get a clear answer, asking “So is that a done deal? Is the United States recommending that our team goes, or is that still an open question?”
“There is an open question,” admitted Haley. “I have not heard anything about that.”
The site of the Olympics is about 40 miles from the demilitarized zone.
UNC Charlotte track and field standout, Briauna Jones, hopes to compete on the women's bobsled team. She ran track from several years and has been training in bobsled for the last 1 1/2 years.
"She actually was just in Korea for some training, some preseason training that they allow the teams on to the facilty," said Bob Olessen, Jones' track coach and also a former Olympian bobsled team member.
Jones believes the U.S. is safe and will compete. He said Jones will be fearless.
"You got to run down a hill in freezing cold temperatures on ice and you got to jump into a small space that's going to be hurling 90 mph down the track," Olessen said.
White House says 'no official decision has been made' on US participation in SKorea Olympics but goal is to attend.
The U.S. Olympic Committee still plans on bringing teams to the Pyeongchang Games in February despite U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley casting doubt on U.S. participation.
Though the Olympics would seem to be a major terror target, they have witnessed just three fatal terror attacks since 1970. The most infamous of them is the 1972 “Black September” massacre in Munich, in which members of the Palestinian Black September militant group captured Israeli Olympic athletes. All 11 hostage athletes were killed, as well as a West German police officer and five attackers, according to the Washington Post.
Another terror attack took place on American soil during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In that attack, a 40-pound pipe bomb loaded with screws and nails killed one person immediately and a second person, a journalist, as they rushed to the scene of the attack.
The most recent fatal attack at the Olympics took place during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which a man stabbed two Americans and a Chinese tour guide, killing one.
If the United States declines to participate, it would not be the first time. Americans led a 65-nation boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
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