After initially agreeing to join NBC as a commentator for the remainder of the 2018 Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon had a change of heart hours later and decided against accepting the lucrative offer on Sunday, February 18.
The figure skater, 28, was expected to stay in PyeongChang, South Korea, for the rest of the competition, and work on TV, as well as on digital and social media platforms. But once he realized that he would have to relinquish his official Olympic standing, give up his Olympic credentials, move out of the athletes’ housing and skip marching with his teammates in the closing ceremony, he turned down NBC.
“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 decline the opportunity,” he tweeted. “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!!!”
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!!!
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 19, 2018
Rippon has quickly become a fan favorite with his honest and witty social media posts. On February 13, he tweeted, “To all those who tweet at me saying that they ‘hope I fail’, I have failed many times many times in my life. But more importantly, I’ve learned from every setback, proudly own up to my mistakes, grown from disappointments,” before hilariously adding, “And now I’m a glamazon bitch ready for the runway.”
He’s also caught heat — and praise — for publicly calling out Vice President Mike Pence over gay rights, and stating that he would not visit the White House to meet President Donald Trump if his team is asked to.
The athlete, who won a bronze medal in the team skating event, has really had a life-changing couple of weeks. In addition to wrapping up his first Olympic competition, he also made history as the first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The Scranton, Pennsylvania, native is finding himself in high regard in Hollywood too. Over the weekend, Sally Field tried to play matchmaker in the hopes of setting Rippon up with her son, while Britney Spears tweeted him to let him know she is a fan! Rippon quickly responded, “I could feel you on the ice with me @britneyspears. I now have an OVERWHELMING desire to post Instagram fashion shows, google stock imagines of corn, and paint on the balcony of my dorm in the Olympic village. Thank you for not being in denial, LOVE YOU.”
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