Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Adam Rippon looks at his role in the 2018 Olympics

So, it’s just another competition? This is how the Winter Olympics are to be treated?

Many athletes say that, perhaps trying to convince themselves that sports are regular is no big deal. Adam Rippon used that trick in 2018 as well.

Then Rippon – and the sports world – discovered something very different.

In October 2015, Rippon was the first openly gay athlete to represent the United States in an Olympic event. His highly publicized verbal battle with Mike Pence, the then Vice President, about an open mind and inclusivity, was as memorable as anyone on ice or snow in Pyeongchang.

“If I talk with someone about my Olympics and my experience,” Ripon says, “they will sometimes bring up my performance or talk about how to get someone to speak up and use their voice. What it means for them. The more I move away from the Olympics, and my own experiences, the more I understand and am more proud of what I was able to achieve.”

No, those Olympics were not like any other competition.

“It never overshadowed my role as an Olympian and competing for Team USA,” Rippon says. “Even when I had the opportunity to speak and do interviews, I always knew that the most important thing to me was to be a great representative of what it meant to be on Team USA. When I was there So that was always my main focus.”

She firmly believes it should be the same for everyone on the U.S. team next month, including U.S. women’s figure skating champion Maria Bell, with whom Rippon works as a semi-coach, choreographer, sounding board, and friend. .

The Olympics, to be held in a country with broader human rights issues, should not distract participants, Ripon notes.

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“Many athletes had Olympic dreams before the Olympics were due to be held in Beijing again,” he says. “I think the focus is that athletes have always wanted to be in the Olympics and that they know what that means – especially for figure skating and (in the summer) gymnastics and swimming, where it is the dominant event. Athletes are put in a very impossible position to be about to comment. Everyone deserves to be treated equally and any human rights violation should not be tolerated.

Adam Rippon of the United States reacts after his performance in the men’s free figure skating final at the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, on Saturday, February 17, 2018. Ripon, who appeared in public in October 2015. , was the first openly gay athlete to represent the United States in Olympic competition.

“But being there and competing is what they are there for.”

Ripon helped his country to a bronze medal in the team competition and finished 10th individually at the Pyeongchang Games. He then moved on from skating, although he remains a major part of Bell’s team.

Soon after those Olympics, Rippon won “Dancing with the Stars”. Her involvement in the entertainment world has continued and expanded, while her growing fame has provided Rippon with a platform to speak up in support of LGBTQ rights and the freedom to be herself.

Her ventures include working as a correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​and “Nightline”, for which her feature, based on a meeting with LGBTQ youth in Laramie, Wyoming, was nominated for a GLAAD Award. Was. He appeared in the TV show “Will & Grace” and the Taylor Swift video.

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Rippon’s memoir, “Beautiful on the Outside,” was published in 2019, and he has hosted two seasons of “Break the Ice with Adam Rippon,” a weekly celebrity on-the-ice interview show that airs on his YouTube channel. is broadcast on the channel. After being tempted by the comedic itch, Rippon is in a comedy clip series “Messiness” on MTV, and hosted “Talkin’ Tokyo” from the Tokyo Olympics for NBC last year.

“I enjoy doing a lot of comedy work and I try to take it (as a profession) more seriously,” he says. “I’ve got to experiment and find out what I really enjoy doing. Entertainment is so broad, what can you do? Everything I’ve got to do in the comedy space is what I love.” Liked it. In the years to come and this year I really want to focus on that, working more in comedy.

“I’ve had the opportunity to do some comedy writing, which is really something I’m passionate about, to stay in that space, and to focus all my attention is another challenge.”

He also knows how challenging comedy is.

“Oh yeah,” Rippon says with a loud laugh, “getting off a triple axle is as hard as making some people laugh sometimes.”

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More Associated Press Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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