Gay Figure Skater Adam Rippon Slams Mike Pence, Leader Of 2018 US Olympic Delegation
United States Vice President Mike Pence will be leading the American delegation at next month’s Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and one athlete is unsurprisingly unhappy with this selection.
Adam Rippon Winter Olympics Comments News
Figure skater Adam Rippon — who is reportedly the first openly gay U.S. athlete to qualify for the Olympics — slammed the decision for Pence, an outspoken anti-LGBT politician, to lead Team USA at the Games on Feb. 9.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? … I’m not buying it,” the 28-year-old skater told USA Today.
Rippon added he does not wish to speak to Pence during the usual meet-and-greet session between the delegation and athletes, which occurs before the opening ceremony.
“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 said.
The Pennsylvania native continued ripping Pence by saying the Vice President doesn’t have “a real concept of reality.” Rippon specifically commented on Pence’s continued support of Donald Trump despite the President’s offensive comments, like the most recent ones in which he described nations like Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as “s—hole” countries.
“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,” said Rippon. “If he’s okay [Pence] 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.”
Rippon won the U.S. Nationals in 2016. He was also the only one to ever win the World Junior Figure Skating Championships twice in a row — in 2008 and 2009. He also holds the titles of Junior Grand Prix Final (2007), U.S. Junior Championship (2008) and Four Continents Figure Skating Championship (2010).
He was born with severe hearing loss but underwent surgery at a very young age, and can thus now hear perfectly. He came out as gay in October 2015.
Rippon also said he refused to go to the White House should he be invited.
When asked what being a gay athlete today was like, he said: “It’s exactly like being a straight athlete, only with better eyebrows…Growing up, I really didn’t have a lot of role models. And I said, if I was ever given the chance and the platform, I would share my story….Because I don’t really care what other people think of me.”