The Olympics have officially begun, and that means the athletes are out and about — but is Team USA figure skater Adam Rippon at the 2018 Olympic Opening Ceremony? The first openly gay athlete to qualify showed off Team USA's outfit for the ceremony on Instagram so there's no doubt that he was in attendance. Now, it's up to you to spot him.
Before the Opening Ceremony, Rippon posted an IG story in which he joked about getting ready for his very first Olympics. "I'm just getting ready for a ceremony," he says, wearing Team USA's uniform designed by Ralph Lauren. When asked what kind of ceremony, Rippon responds teasingly, "Oh, the opening kind."
Before the South Korea Olympics even started, it was reported that Rippon was feuding with Vice President Mike Pence. Rippon, who is only one of two openly gay U.S. athletes competing at the Olympics this time around, turned down a meeting with the politician over his anti-LGBTQ beliefs. Last month, Rippon criticized the U.S.'s decision to have Pence lead the Olympic delegation, telling USA Today, "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I'm not buying it."
When asked by reporters about Pence in South Korea, a day before the opening ceremony, Rippon said he was focused on celebrating his first Olympic games. "I don't want to make this too much for my competitors and for my teammates," the skater said, according to USA Today. "I'm just kind of focused on the competition. The opening ceremony is tomorrow. I don't mind talking about it but I don't want to distract my teammates."
No one would blame Rippon for wanting to focus on the best parts of the games. After all, the 28-year-old first-time Olympian has already made history by becoming the oldest rookie skater to make the U.S. team in over 80 years. It's just one of the reasons why fans, including celebs like Reese Witherspoon, can't help but root for him.
Days before the South Korea Olympics started Witherspoon tweeted, "Reason #1 to Watch #WinterOlympics2018: ADAM RIPPON." If you didn't already sense her excitement, the all-caps should definitely clear things up. But, Rippon was just as excited to know the Legally Blonde star was a fan, sending his own all-caps response right back: "WHEN YOU'RE RIGHT, YOU'RE RIGHT."
In fact, Rippon was so excited that he used a portion of his 280 characters to pitch Witherspoon an idea for a movie. "Also!!" he tweeted, "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?"
Witherspoon has yet to respond, but honestly, fans would totally watch that movie. "I smell Oscars," one person tweeted. "How do we get Meryl involved? Maybe she could play a disgruntled Mike Pence? She's got tremendous range, so I know she could pull it off." Since Meryl Streep just joined Big Little Lies Season 2, it might not be that hard for Witherspoon to get her onboard for this Olympic story. It's true, she does have the range to play Pence. After all, Streep already played Trump.
Before Rippon commits to any film projects, though, he has some skating to do. He will take the ice, along with his skating teammates Nathan Chen and Victor Zhou, on Thursday, Feb. 15 for the men's short program. Then he'll compete again the following night for the men's free skate, which will decide who takes home a medal.
The last time an American won men's figure skating gold was Evan Lysacek in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Before that, an American man hadn't won since Brian Boitano in 1988 so here's to hoping Rippon or his teammates can bring home the gold for U.S.A. But whether the athlete wins a medal or not, let's hope Rippon at least gets a big hug from Witherspoon when he returns home.