PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — It’s not easy to draw attention from snowboarders hurling themselves off the side of a hundred-foot hill, twisting and turning and flipping in gravity-defying gyrations, but Ivanka Trump managed to do exactly that when she arrived at Saturday morning’s Big Air competition at the PyeongChang Olympics.
The First Daughter, on what’s been billed as a mission of celebration rather than political gamesmanship, arrived at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre just as the Men’s Big Air finals were beginning. And instantly, rows of cameras which had been trained on the top of the mountain pivoted to find Trump in the audience. It wasn’t exactly difficult to locate her; she was wearing a red full-body snowsuit and a USA tocque.
As everything from Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy” to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” played over the PA, Trump sat alongside South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-suk and took in the event, rising to her feet every time a United States snowboarder dropped into the chute for a run. A coterie of guards and Secret Service agents kept crowds at bay, but curious Korean fans did edge up to Trump’s section for photographs.
The United States had a good day in Ivanka’s presence, with Kyle Mack finishing with a silver medal and Chris Corning and Red Gerard finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. “I didn’t know [that she was in attendance],” Gerard said after his final run. “That’s pretty cool. I’m pretty psyched that she came out to support us.”
Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a press conference at the USA House in Yongpyong Resort. Sanders announced that Trump would be attending the gold medal curling match between the United States and Sweden, saying, “I hear it’s the hottest ticket in town.” Ivanka Trump is also expected to attend the Closing Ceremony, but her visit is not expected to have the same political overtones as Vice President Mike Pence’s earlier in the Games.
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.