USOC plan for Olympics unchanged despite ambassador's doubts

The U.S. Olympic Committee still plans to bring teams to the Pyeongchang Games in February despite the White House and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley casting doubt on U.S. participation.

USOC spokesman Mark Jones released a statement Thursday, saying the committee had not had any discussions, either internally or with government officials, about the possibility of not taking teams to next year's Olympics or Paralympics.

"We plan on supporting two full delegations in PyeongChang," Jones said.

In an interview Wednesday with Fox News Channel, Haley was asked if it's an open question about whether the U.S. team will compete at the Olympics in South Korea, given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"There's an open question," she said. "I have not heard anything about that. But I do know that in the talks that we have, whether it's Jerusalem, whether it's North Korea, it's always about, how do we do protect the U.S. citizens in the area."

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "no official decision has been made" on U.S. participation but that the goal is to attend. She later tweeted that the U.S. "looks forward to participating."

"The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues.," she also tweeted.

On Friday, USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun made it clear the U.S. has every intention of attending next year's Olympics.

"We are taking a team to Pyeongchang unless it is physically or legally impossible to do so," he told reporters.

Blackmun said the USOC has had a great communication with South Korean authorities adding, "from the standpoint of things we can control we feel really good."

South Korea's sports ministry spokesman Hwang Seong-un said Friday in Seoul that the government isn't too concerned about the possibility of the U.S. not attending. Hwang said that during a phone conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week, President Donald Trump told the South Korean leader that American athletes and senior government officials would be heading to the Games.

ESPN's Wayne Drehs and The Associated Press contributed to this report.