Adam Rippon has taken the world by storm during his time at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The 28-year-old figure skater, who became the first openly gay athlete to compete for the United States in the Winter Games, won a bronze medal with a dazzling routine Sunday night, and has continued to endear himself to fans with his charm and wit, both in person and on Twitter.
Rippon, who refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence due to his stance on LGBTQ issues, has used his platform as a U.S. Olympian to push for diversity and inclusion, and he delivered a powerful statement on being a gay athlete Tuesday.
“Being gay and being an athlete…it doesn’t (expletive) matter,” Rippon told reporters. “It really doesn’t. Being an athlete takes a lot of guts, takes a lot of courage and that’s what you need to remember. Your sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with this. In the past few weeks, I’ve never talked about my eyebrows and I’ve never talked about being gay so much in my entire life because it’s never been a big deal.
“It’s not a big deal to me. In so many articles, it’s always ‘gay Olympian Adam Rippon’ and I wear that title really proudly, but I’m not a gay Olympian, I’m just an Olympian. And now I’m an Olympic medalist and I also happen to be gay. That’s a part of who I am but it has nothing to do with how I got here.”
Rippon, who won his bronze medal in the team event, will compete in the men’s free skate Sunday where he’s sure to impress viewers once again.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images