Adam Rippon, in his own words, is “not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart.”
No, “I am just America’s sweetheart. And I am just an icon.”
While his Olympics may be over as a competitor, with a bronze in the team figure skating event and a 10th as an individual, the self-proclaimed iconic sweetheart of the United States will remain in PyeongChang as a contributor for NBC, according to USA Today. NBC Spokesman Greg Hughes told USA Today that Rippon will work in television and digital and social media.
This will come as little surprise to those who have been following these Olympic Games. Even before the Games began, Rippon, one of the first openly gay male athletes to compete for the United States in an Olympics, was in the headlines over a feud with Vice President Mike Pence.
Since, he’s become one of the most recognizable stars of these Olympics, a celebrated member of the gay community, as well as a polarizing one outside of it. His response to the rise in his celebrity was, like many of his quips, memorable: “Sometimes I just get attention, and I really don’t know how it happens.”
It’s lines like that that make the outspoken, and very well-spoken, Rippon a suitable candidate, as well as his ability to deflect a maelstrom of criticism on the internet, an inevitable aspect of working in television.
After his final skate, another smooth run though not nearly enough to land him on the podium, Rippon told reporters that “I’m probably going to have like a stiff drink later.”
Not just yet. Rippon still has work left to do at these Olympics.
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Team USA hints at bad sportsmanship, bad play by O.A.R. in lopsided loss
• Mikaela Shiffrin pours heart out on social media
• The story behind the famous Olympic escalator stunt
• Ester Ledecka celebrates surprise gold medal with trip to KFC
• Swiss father bikes 10,000 miles to watch son ski in Olympics