Four years ago, Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu were eating hamburgers on a rooftop after missing the #WinterOlympics.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 12, 2018
With his funny and outspoken personality, Adam Rippon is making a name for himself at the Winter Olympics. That isn’t to say his on-the-ice performances haven’t been dazzling either, but his burgeoning stardom almost never came to be. That’s what makes his rise so special. Four years ago, he was on a roof eating In-N-Out Burger with his teammate Mirai Nagasu (who became the first US woman to land the triple axel at the Olympics), stewing over the fact that he didn’t make the U.S. figure skating team. Now he’s becoming an internet darling with his routines on the ice and his quick-witted comedy routines on social media.
Rippon joins Gus Kenworthy as the only openly gay American athletes in PyeongChang, which made headlines before Rippon told USA Today that he questioned Mike Pence’s leading of the Olympic delegation, nor did he want to meet him.
“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick. I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.”
Rippon continued by saying he didn’t believe Pence had a “real concept of reality” and cited Pence’s outward Christianity conflicting with the actions of his runningmate Donald Trump. “To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory,” he said. “If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘shitholes,’ I think he should really go to church.”
Not everything about Rippon’s popular run in South Korea is political. He’s honored to represent America as an openly gay man, saying: “Representing the USA is one of the greatest honors of my life and being able to do it as my authentic self makes it all so much sweeter.”