The Winter Olympics are well under way, but there’s one athlete in particular that people can’t stop talking about.
Adam Rippon broke barriers by being the first openly gay American male athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics and last night he made his debut for the figure skating U.S. team.
Although the U.S. team placed third, earning them a bronze medal, the internet is crowning him the true winner of the games.
The 28-year-old figure skater’s personality accents his exceptional skill with quick wit and blunt humor. His post-interview with NBC reporter Andrea Joyce cemented him as our new favorite athlete.
But if we back track to before the Winter Olympics, the newly-bronzed medalist has always been a fan favorite.
From the butt conspiracy (he had to go on record to say that in fact it was real) to his original performance of “Diamonds” by Rihanna in December, his rise to popularity is only the beginning.
While Rippon has many hidden talents, we know for sure that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s been outspoken about Vice President Mike Pence’s LGBTQ views and denied the invitation to meet with him.
He uses his digital platform to voice his opinions, but also makes time for hilarious quips on and off the ice. “I’m proud of a lot of things I’ve said on Twitter,” he told GQ.
The VP’s press secretary issued a statement that what I said to @usatodaysports has “no basis in fact” and that my “accusations are totally false”. Luckily, I brought #TheReceipts 🐸🍵
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) January 20, 2018
There’s been a lot questions to whether I compete with butt pads on and I’d like to set the record straight and let it be known that no, it’s just my real butt. Thank you for your interest, comments, and concern. Love you.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) December 9, 2017
I was recently asked in an interview what its 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.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) December 28, 2017
This is a shot from my shoot with @GQMagazine – I’m sitting in a Kohl’s parking lot bush. With the lights from the Taco Bell next door twinkling in my eye, Ryan Pfluger has never made me feel more beautiful. pic.twitter.com/fO2568HJJJ
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 10, 2018
Twitter isn’t the only platform increasing his fanbase. Rippon posts fun behind-the-scenes of his moments in Pyeongchang, on his Instagram Stories as well.
The other day he spent more than a minute discussing to his over 216,000 followers about the generic condoms at the Olympics. Honestly, what else should athletes do on their downtime?
“I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I thought maybe they have like Olympic rings on them or they’ll be all different colors, but no. It’s all a myth,” he said
Since his rising fame, he’s gained fans from celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Leslie Jones. He’s also made friends with freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy and Youtuber Tyler Oakley.
WHEN YOURE RIGHT, YOURE RIGHT, @RWitherspoon ❤️❤️❤️ Also!! Quick movie idea for you: You (played by you) tweet me in the middle of the night at the Olympics and I (played by me) die immediately. Thoughts? https://t.co/2p9b11QxEl
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 8, 2018
But, long friendship with fellow figure skater Mirai Nagasu shows how down-to-earth Adam truly is. Just another reason why the Winter Olympics won’t be the last time we’ll see him.
So don’t worry, if you want more of Adam, he’ll be returning on the ice to compete in the Men’s Single Skating event on Friday and Saturday. We look forward to his performance and more post-interview fun.