Adam Rippon made history by becoming the first openly gay American to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but that’s not the only thing that makes him special, reports Elaine Teng for ESPN.
Rippon is also a brave and determined individual who has spoken out about his struggles with body image and the pressure to be thin, and used his platform to speak out against the Trump administration’s bigotry.
When asked about his thoughts on Mike Pence leading the Olympic delegation, Rippon told USA Today, “I don’t think he has a real concept of reality,” Rippon told USA Today. “To stand by some of the things that Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘s—holes,’ I think he should really go to church.” Rippon, who came out in 2015, has also criticized Pence’s support of conversion therapy.
At 28 years old, Rippon is America’s oldest first-time Olympian figure skater since 1936. Paul Wylie, an Olympic silver medalist, says being older than the competition takes its toll. “Because you’re in a rink skating with 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds, and you’re a grown person. You really have to be rooted in your purpose, and that’s one thing I really noticed about Adam: He feels like he is on a mission.”
All that hard work is certainly paying off, because he just won his first bronze medal!
Read the ESPN article here.