23 Adam Rippon Quotes From The 2018 Olympics That Prove Why He's Perfect As NBC's New Correspondent
Adam Rippon may not have captured Olympic gold, but he still isn't walking away from PyeongChang empty-handed. Instead of adding a piece of shiny hardware to go with the bronze he won in the team competition, Rippon landed a sweet Olympic gig to pass his time in PyeongChang now that his events are over. Rippon is NBC's newest Olympic correspondent, so he'll spend the remainder of the 2018 Games behind the mic instead of out on the ice.
Rippon has risen to prominence this Olympics not only through his athletic performance, but also through his outspoken nature. His public quarrel with Vice President Mike Pence in particular made the news, when he declined the opportunity to meet with Pence and then rebuffed the vice president's message of support.
This all came as a result of his position as the first openly gay American athlete in the Winter Olympics, though he's been joined by openly gay freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy. Now, both are working to normalize queer athletes in sports, Rippon in particular has been backing up that effort with a ton of quotes on the subject that range from cutting, to hilarious, to extremely inspiring.
Surely, this is a big part of why NBC invited Rippon to join their already top-notch team of Olympic commentators. Here are just a few of Rippon's most eloquent moments.
1. On His Iconic Status
“I have gotten a lot of attention just for being myself. A lot of people when they come to a competition are afraid to be themselves, no matter who they are," USA Today reports that Rippon said.
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.
2. On Using His Position For Change
“I spoke out because there are people out there whose lives have been affected by change that [Mike Pence has] tried to make,” Rippon said, as reported in the Washington Post.
I spoke out for them because right now I have a voice, and I think it’s really important for me to use it. That’s a conversation for them.
3. On Making The Olympics As An "Older Athlete"
Speaking to USA Today, Rippon said, “I want to show everyone you can be yourself, you can be out there in your competitive field, and say ‘I am also going to kick your ass.’ ”
4. On Mike Pence's Religious Habits
“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality. To stand by some of the things that [President] Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory," Rippon told USA Today.
If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘s—holes,’ I think he should really go to church.
5. On The Difference Between Gay And Straight Athletes
"I was recently asked in an interview what its like to be a gay athlete in sports," he tweeted. "I said that it’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eye brows."
It's all in the eyebrows, apparently.
6. On The Opportunity The Olympics Gives Him
“Being here at the Olympics does give me a louder voice. It has given me a platform. It’s given me a voice to reach to young kids," USA Today reported that Rippon said.
I’ve gotten so many messages I could even get emotional thinking about it, but I’ve gotten so many messages from young kids all over the country that my story’s resonated with them.
7. On What He's Spent His Time Doing
"While you were busy being heterosexual, I studied the blade."
Rippon's use of humor on Twitter and in real life is one of the main reasons why he's become so iconic.
8. On Failure
"To all those who tweet at me saying that they “hope I fail”, I have failed many times many times in my life," Rippon wrote.
But more importantly, I’ve learned from every setback, proudly own up to my mistakes, grown from disappointments, and now I’m a glamazon bitch ready for the runway.
Failure is a part of any Olympian's life — what matters is what they do with it, and how they turn it into success. Or, in other words, how they become "glamazon bitches."
9. On Living For Yourself
"FUN FACT: Being true to who you are and not giving a shit about what others think about you is an awesome and liberating thing whether you are gay or not - Sometimes we the gays need to be reminded more often but, LIKE, EVERYONE SHOULD TRY IT, FOR REAL. JUST DO IT."
Rippon has talked about what an amazing feeling it is that he gets to do all of this as his authentic self, but the message isn't just for other members of the LGBTQ community.
10. On His Costume Choices
“Let me tell you a story,” Rippon told USA TODAY Sports. “When I am on the ice in this costume I am essentially completely naked with crystals covering my nipples. Is that OK? The officials say it is OK.”
His friend, costume designer Braden Overett, added another gem about the black and burgundy outfit that Rippon wore for his short program: “People don’t realize that what they are really seeing is Adam skin.”
11. On The Tragic Shooting In Florida
"I got asked if competing at the Olympics was the most important day in my life and the answer is no, every day is important and shouldn’t be taken for granted," he said. "These shootings have to stop. Sending love to those families hurting today."
A simple, yet profound, message.
12. On Donald Trump
"Sometimes I’ll be listening to NPR at the gym, and I’ll hear them say, 'Oh, Donald Trump did this today.' And I’m like, 'WHAT?!' All of a sudden I have more energy than if I drank an espresso," Rippon told GQ in an interview.
13. On Getting Older & Still Competing
"I've really had to let go of thinking about things like, Oh God, I'm getting older. Every day, I have to go to the rink and think about how far I can push myself," Rippon said in the same GQ interview.
When I was 18, it was, F*ck it, I'm going to do everything balls to the wall until they turn the lights out. If I did that now—my insurance isn’t good enough for me to end up in urgent care every day.
14. On Olympic Fashion
"Maybe if this were my fifth Olympic Games, I'd say, 'Oh, I wish it were like this, or like that,'" Rippon told GQ.
But honestly, at this point in my life, if they said, 'Here's your opening ceremony outfit,' and then handed me a piece of rope and some broken sticks and a trash bag, I'd be like, 'IT'S GORGEOUS. I'LL MAKE IT WORK.
15 & 16. On His Idols
""I owe this medal a lot to [Reese Witherspoon] and to my mom. But, like, more to Reese in a way, ya know? Because she has more followers on Instagram," Rippon told NBC. And perhaps Reese really did motivate him:
"Reason #1 to Watch #WinterOlympics2018 : ADAM RIPPON," Witherspoon tweeted, tagging Rippon.
"WHEN YOURE RIGHT, YOURE RIGHT, @RWitherspoon," Rippon wrote, retweeting her post. "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?"
17. On The Burger To Cure Depression
Soon after winning bronze in the team competition along with good friend Mirai Nagasu, Rippon described their position four years ago:
To watch Mirai Nagasu go out there and also skate a clean free skate … I mean, we’ve really been through a lot together. Four years ago, we were eating In-N-Out on the roof of her house in Arcadia, California, and we were crying that we weren’t at the Olympics. And four years later, we’re sharing an Olympic podium together. So, if you’re ever depressed, go to In-N-Out, and four years later you’ll be at the Olympics!
18. On Why His Success Waited So Long
"I can’t explain witchcraft. I just feel like I’m coming into my own. I’m confident in who I am and what I’m doing. I’m just having a great time," Rippon told NBC, as reported by Thrillist.
19. On His Teammates' Youth
“Vincent [Zhou] and I were born in different millennia. We were! I was born in the ’80s, girl. … No electronics. No phone," Rippon said at a press conference. "The Berlin Wall came down when I was, like, born. The Internet was, like, invented when Vincent was born. So we’re definitely different.”
20. On How To Calm Down
"I want to throw up. I want to go over to the judges and say 'Can I just have a Xanax and a quick drink. I'll be fine,'" Rippon said.
21. On How To Celebrate Properly
When asked how he would celebrating upon getting home after the Olympics, Rippon outlined a plan that basically everyone has had at one point or another: “I’m going to go to Target and I’m going to get a bottle of Sauvignon blanc, Oyster Bay, with the twist top, immediately.”
22. On Going With The Flow
"I would say that I’m a hot mess all the time. I usually finish things in the last second," Rippon told NBC.
But I think, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t worry about it and I just rock it. If I forgot to put something on and I have to wear a trash bag, I’m just like, I’m gonna rock a trash bag today. I’m really go-with-the-flow, but I take things really seriously. At the same time, when things don’t go my way, I don’t ever freak out. Why? Why freak out?
23. On Valentine's Day
"With everything going on in the media about me this Valentine’s Day I don’t want people to get distracted and forget how beautiful I am (on the outside)."
Oh, Adam, we could never do that.
And now, with Rippon's new post at NBC, we won't have a chance to — at least until the Olympics are over.