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Adam Rippon Is U.S.’s First Openly Gay Man To Qualify For Winter Olympics

Adam Rippon, a initial plainly happy male to validate for a U.S. Winter Olympics team, competes during a 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


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Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Adam Rippon, a initial plainly happy male to validate for a U.S. Winter Olympics team, competes during a 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As of Sunday morning, 28-year-old figure skater Adam Rippon will be a initial plainly happy male to contest for a United States in a Winter Olympics.

Despite a unsatisfactory fourth-place opening during a U.S. figure skating championships Saturday night, Rippon was comparison to join Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou in Pyeongchang subsequent month.

“I’m unequivocally beholden that a preference cabinet looked during my physique of work over a final dual seasons,” Rippon told reporters on Sunday.

The committee’s preference wasn’t though controversy. Rippon’s preference edged out Ross Miner, who placed second in a inhabitant championship. U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier pronounced a athletes’ lane annals in general competitions were a determining factor.

But for Rippon, who was a U.S. inhabitant champion in 2016, a highway to PyeongChang has been a prolonged one. This year will be a 28-year-old’s Olympic entrance — some-more than 80 years given an American male his age competed as a rookie, according to The Washington Post.

“I don’t unequivocally caring what other people consider of me. I’m means to go out there and I’m unequivocally means to be unabashedly myself,” he said. “I wish somebody who’s young, who’s struggling, who’s not certain if it’s OK if they are themselves to know that it’s OK.”

And depending on how a register for a U.S. ski group shapes up, Rippon might finish adult pity his ancestral moment.

U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy came out publicly in 2015, a year after he took china in a 2014 Sochi Olympics. Kenworthy will find out after this month either he heads to Pyeongchang.

A third happy athlete, luger John Fennell, had also been opposed for a mark on Team USA, though a sled malfunction slashed his possibility during subordinate in December.

Figure skater Johnny Weir faced conjecture about his sexuality while competing in 2006 and 2010, though he avoided questions on a matter. In 2011, he publicly reliable that he was happy in his memoir, Welcome to My World.

Despite a benefit in LGBTQ illustration this winter, a Olympics contend with a default of plainly odd athletes. The U.S. hasn’t sent an plainly happy male to a Summer Olympics in 14 years — given equestrians Robert Dover and Guenter Seidel competed in 2004.

But come February, a tellurian assembly will get a possibility to know Rippon, who’s built a repute as an unapologetic, rarely interesting skater.

“A few weeks ago, we was asked in an talk … what was it like being a happy contestant in sports. And we pronounced it’s accurately like being a true athlete. Only with improved eyebrows,” Rippon said.