Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor understands why her teammate Lauren Gibbs decided to delete her selfie with Ivanka Trump.
Following the pair’s silver medal finish at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Gibbs posted a photo with the 36-year-old first daughter, after which Taylor says her teammate received an “overwhelming amount of hate.”
“I was tagged in a lot of those tweets too, and it was overwhelming,” Meyers Taylor tells PEOPLE Now.
Although the athlete understands why the photo created controversy, she says that the duo were just making the most of their unique Olympic experience. “For us, it was an opportunity to go and meet the president’s daughter and share our experience and share bobsled. We both took it as an honor and privilege,” she explains.
“And I know from a political standpoint everybody doesn’t agree, we may not agree with all their policies,” she says, adding that “at the same time” the pair have respect for the presidency and “respect the president’s daughter.”
“So for her to go out there and put a selfie up and get that much hate out of it was incredible and I understand why she took it down,” she says.
After deleting the selfie from social media on Tuesday, Gibbs explained her decision on Twitter saying, “I deleted (by choice) the photo because I was tired of reading the hate being thrown back and forth.”
“Whether you hate me for posting or hate me for taking it down… you are the same… hate from either side is hate… #samesame,” she added.
According to TIME, the Olympian had originally captioned the photo, “It’s important that we don’t have to agree on everything to get along, be civil to each other and enjoy each other’s company.”
Openly gay skier Gus Kenworthy also slammed Trump for her appearance at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony, where she led the U.S. delegation.
“So proud of all these people! Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony! Well… Everyone except Ivanka. Honestly, tf is she doing here??” Kenworthy wrote on social media during Sunday’s closing ceremony.
However, not everybody took such a critical attitude about Trump’s presence, with Nate Weber of the U.S. men’s bobsled team writing, “Regardless of your politics you have to admit that it’s pretty cool when @IvankaTrump invites your kids to watch the #Olympics with her. It was an amazing experience for them. #teamusa.”
Prior to the closing ceremony, Trump spent time cheering on U.S. athletes at the Games. On Saturday, she shared an Instagram photo of herself at a speed skating event alongside female figure skaters Bradie Tennell and Karen Chen.
She also attended part of the bobsled competition, and watched the U.S. men’s curling team win their first-ever gold medal.
“I’m so excited to be here. It’s just so incredibly inspiring. It’s been an amazing couple of days, and such an honor and privilege to be here with our allies in South Korea and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished as a culture, a society economically and, of course, in sport,” she told reporters in a short statement prior to the closing ceremony.