After a stunning Olympic debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics, stealing America’s hearts. The first Team USA Openly Gay Olympic Figure Skater has officially announced that he is retiring from the sport.
Known for his confident and unapologetic style and after a failed attempt to make the 2014 Olympic Team. Rippon came out of his shell and on scene when he won his first US title in 2016. Just before that, Rippon came out of the closet to become Team USA’s first active, openly gay male, figure skater. However, his time to shine came in 2018 at the US National Figure Skating Championships which also served as the 2018 Winter Olympic Trials. Where Adam earned his spot on the Olympic Team. With his charming and witty personality, it wasn’t just Adam’s skating that made the world swoon, it was his confidence on ice and his determination to live up the Olympic experience as authentically and true to himself as much as possible.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Adam placed 10th in Men’s Singles and helped Team USA when a Bronze Medal in the team event. At the Olympic Games, Adam wasn’t there to win a medal, he was there to live in the moment.
“I have gotten a lot of attention just for being myself,” he said. “A lot of people when they come to a competition are afraid to be themselves, no matter who they are. One thing I want to come with from this competition. I am not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart. I am just America’s sweetheart and just an icon. If you have a personality like mine it’s for everybody.”
While at the Olympic Games, there was much discussion regarding Rippon as an openly gay athlete and a potential drama brewing with Vice President Pence, Adam had this to say…
“My hard work into getting me into the Olympics did me a favor. I think I worked really hard to get where I am, and I didn’t get to where I am for being gay or for speaking out on different issues. I got to where I am for working really hard.”
No doubt, many people had questions for him as the first openly gay male named to the US Winter Olympic Team…
“I was recently asked in an interview what it’s like to be a gay athlete in sports. I said that it’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eye brows.“
While at the age of 29, which is well past the peak age for Figure Skating, many people had wondered about Adam’s retirement. Following the Olympic Adam had quite a whirlwind journey with everything from the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards to winning Dancing with the Stars. Adam was living it up and enjoying his post-Olympic fame. Adam has decided that it is time to hang up the skates and move on to a new journey.
By Dirk Smith