White House officials reacted angrily yesterday to reports that some members of the U.S. Olympic team will not attend ceremonies tomorrow at the Capitol and the White House honoring the athletes.
"We are really angry," a senior White House official said last night. "We are pretty upset by the attitude of some of the athletes -- especially because we have expressed nothing but appreciation for them . . . and have gone to great lengths to help raise money for the Olympic team."
The White House official said the administration had pressed vigorously for passage of a $10 million appropriation to help fund team efforts and had dispatched White House counsel Lloyd Cutler and presidential assistant Anne Wexler on speaker tours around the country to raise funds for the athletes. And, the official said, the Treasury Department minted special medals to be presented to the athletes.
The White House official characterized those who are refusing to attend tomorrow's events as "rather immature athletes."
The Washington Post reported yesterday that several team members said they would not attend the ceremonies marking the end of a five-day program to honor the 505 U.S. Olympic team members who have not gone to the Moscow Games because of the U.S.-led boycott.
President Carter is to attend the ceremonies on the west steps of the Capitol and the White House reception.