olympics 2018

Adam Rippon Soaks in His ‘America’s Sweetheart’ Status As His Olympics Come to an End

Adam Rippon.

Can Team USA find room for him on the skeleton or curling teams? Maybe? Yes? Newfound national treasure Adam Rippon ended his sparkly, witchcraft-inspired Olympics this weekend, placing a respectable tenth place in the individual men’s figure skating competition. But before Rippon makes his inevitable late-night debut in the coming days, the athlete took a few moments, post-skate, to reflect on his Olympic experience.

“I came here as an athlete to show why I’m at these Olympic Games, why I was chosen for the team, why I needed to be on that team event and that’s been so important to me and that I’ve gotten to show the world who I am,” he told reporters after his final event on Saturday morning. “I think I’m leaving showing the world that you can also have a big personality and be who you are in the process … I think I’ve shown the world that I’m a fierce competitor, but I think I’ve shown them that I’m also a fierce human being.”

The significance of his Olympic run and popularity — winning a bronze medal in the team skate, making him the the first openly gay athlete to get a Winter Games medal for the U.S. — wasn’t lost on Rippon, either. “I’ve gotten a lot of attention I think just for being myself. I think that a lot of people, when they come to a competition, are afraid to be themselves no matter who they are,” he explained. “I think one thing that I want people to come away with from this competition is that I’m not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart — I’m just America’s sweetheart and I’m just an icon. And if you have a personality like mine, it’s for everybody.”

Here’s hoping for Beijing 2022.

Adam Rippon Knows He’s ‘America’s Sweetheart’ Now