As the first openly gay American man to skate in the Olympics, Adam Rippon will make history at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. But despite the fact that he has been feuding with Vice President Mike Pence for the past month, the Team USA figure skater has said he wants to be remembered for his performance, not his politics.
Today, February 8th, Rippon addressed his recent conflict with Pence, saying he didn’t want it to overshadow the games.
In January, Rippon announced that he would not visit the White House if invited post-Olympics, saying that he would not feel welcomed by the current administration as a gay man. And in a later interview with USA Today, Rippon criticized Pence’s selection to lead the U.S. delegation during the Olympics. The skater cited Pence’s support of “conversion therapy” and refused to participate in a traditional meeting between Pence and Olympians.
In a February 8th tweet, Pence dismissed the conflict between himself and Rippon as “fake news,” claiming that he completely supported the athlete.
We applaud Rippon for speaking out against discrimination, but we also understand that, as an athlete, he wants the focus of these games to be on his hard work and accomplishments. We’re wishing Rippon and all of Team USA the best of luck in the PyeongChang Olympics!