Whether it was with his free program, his friendship with Mirai Nagasu, or his Meryl Streep excitement scale, U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon likely won your heart at this winter's Olympic games. And, Adam Rippon was at the 2018 Closing Ceremony to keep that spirit going. While his appearance during the parade was brief, it was memorable, and social media helped to fill in the gaps.
During the parade, Rippon could be seen chilling with fellow skater Mirai Nagasu and skier Gus Kenworthy. Since all the athletes march in together, undivided by country, it was hard to spot anyone in particular, but an eage-eyed Twitter user seemed to confirm Rippon's appearance in a series of pics.
Sometimes athletes leave after their event and miss the big farewell, but not Rippon. This should come as no surprise. Not only has he been enjoying the Olympics to the last drop, but he's a loyal member of Team USA. He wasn't about to give up his fellow Americans this week, no matter the opportunity, and shared his decision on Twitter:
"I am flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent for them here in PyeongChang. Doing this would require me to leave Team USA and move out of the Olympic Village. I don't want to do that so I had to declined the opportunity. I love being on Team USA and representing our country. My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition. Go Team USA!!!"
Journalist Christine Brennan tweeted that Rippon participating in the Closing Ceremony as an athlete figured in to that decision. Out Magazine noted this as well.
However, as far as other offers go, we likely won't be missing Rippon for quite some time. He isn't afraid to use his voice and platform to advocate change. He is also shamelessly (in the best possible way) open to any and all endorsement deals and television appearances.
He's clearly game for anything, especially when it comes to the Olympics and partaking in this global party. He'll even wear the dorky matching Team USA gear.
"Maybe if this were my fifth Olympic Games," he said in an interview with GQ, "I'd say, 'Oh, I wish it were like this, or like that. 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.'"
At the PyeongChang, Rippon helped secure a bronze medal for Team USA in the first figure skating event. In the individual men's competition, he finished seventh in the short program and ultimately landed in tenth place. "I can't explain witchcraft," Rippon told NBC about his performance on the ice. "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."
Unfortunately, he did not participate in the skating gala, which is especially unfortunate as Rippon's 2017 exhibition performance involved him singing and skating to Rihanna's "Diamonds."
At least we got to see him one more time at the Closing Ceremony. Twitter was excited, to say the least. Rippon made the Olympics his own all the way up to the Closing Ceremony, and was spotted joking around with Nagasu on her Instagram Stories just a few hours before the ceremony.
What are you doing?" Nagasu asks Rippon in the video. "Packing my crystals," he replies in deadpan, holding a box of them.
Rippon has been vocal about his desire to be true to himself throughout these games, crystals and all. "One thing I want to come with from this competition — I am not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart," said Rippon in an interview with USA Today. "I am just America’s sweetheart and just an icon. If you have a personality like mine it’s for everybody." He got a lot of attention for being himself, as the first openly gay American athlete at the Winter Olympics, but the former is just as important.
Shine on, Adam! It has been a pleasure, from opening ceremony to closing.