Ivanka Trump Heads to South Korea for Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony

Ivanka Trump attends a session named “Taking women-owned businesses to the next level” as part of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Washington, DC, on October 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump is headed to South Korea on Thursday, where she will lead the presidential delegation to the closing ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

“I am honored to lead the US delegation to the closing ceremonies of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. We look forward to congratulating Team USA and celebrating all that our athletes have achieved. Their talent, drive, grit and spirit embodies American excellence, and inspire us all,” Trump said in a statement.

Trump was asked by her father, President Donald Trump, to lead the delegation and “eagerly accepted the opportunity,” an administration official told reporters Wednesday. Another official added that she is “also a winter sports enthusiast.”

“The President had made it clear that he wanted high-level delegations to go to the Winter Olympics to help cheer on the American athletes, show support for the US Olympic team and highlight the strength and support of our relationship with South Korea,” one of the officials said, noting that the plans for this delegation to attend the closing ceremonies have been in the works for “several weeks.”

The first daughter and senior adviser to the President is flying commercially to Seoul. She will have dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at his residence, the Blue House, on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, she will attend a variety of as-yet-unannounced sporting events to cheer on American athletes. She will attend the closing ceremony with the delegation Sunday evening and return to the US Monday morning.

Joining Trump in the US delegation are White House press secretary Sarah Sanders; Idaho’s GOP Sen. James Risch, the chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea; Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy Seoul Mark Knapper; and Sgt. Shauna Rohbock, a former Winter Olympian, current Team USA coach for the bobsled team and a member of the US National Guard.

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SOURCE: CNN, Betsy Klein