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White House will not send delegation to Paralympics

Barack Obama

In this Feb. 4, 2014, photo, President Barack Obama speaks at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md. The road the country has been on for the past five years is now beginning to come to an end. The Federal Reserve is withdrawing its financial lifeline amid signs of fresh economic growth. The nation’s gross domestic product is inching up and annual federal budget deficits are heading down. How Washington policymakers respond to the improvements in the economy may even sow the seeds for more cooperation in Washington. “There are no winners here,” suggests Obama. “The American people are completely fed up with Washington.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

AP

The White House is pulling its planned Paralympic delegation four days before the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, citing the situation in Ukraine.

“In addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine, the United States will no longer send a Presidential Delegation to the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, in a statement.

The move came one day after Great Britain announced it would not send government officials to Sochi, also because of the Russia-Ukraine situation. Russian troops took over the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine on Saturday, leading U.S. President Barack Obama to call for Russia to pull back its forces, according to The Associated Press.

The White House’s planned group would have been led by congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in Iraq. It also was set to include three-time Paralympic bronze medalist Sandra Dukat and wrestler Anthony Robles, who won an NCAA title after being born with one leg. That group was announced Feb. 7.

“We will continue to fully support the amazing men and women that comprise Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, and we encourage all Americans to support our athletes by watching them compete on NBC, NBCSN and on TeamUSA.org.” said Patrick Sandusky, U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, in a statement.

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