On Sunday night, Adam Rippon made history. The 28-year-old figure skater became the first openly gay skater representing the United States to take home the bronze medal in PyeongChang at this year’s Winter Olympics. After his win, many would think Rippon’s celebratory events would include stopping by the White House reception for the Olympians.
Well, Rippon made it very clear that he’s RSVPing a big NO to that invite. Right after donning his new Olympic “bling” the skater told the Daily Mail he’s skipping the event and is instead going to focus his efforts doing something a bit more positive for his LGBT+ community.
“No. I have no desire to go to the White House. But I would like to do something to help my community,” he said. “I have kind of spoken out a lot, and I’d like to do something positive and not just stay at home.”
Back in January, Rippon, who came out publically two years ago, called out Vice President Pence who has been vocal about his anti-gay views and comments. After calling Pence a hypocrite for his Christian virtues while standing by and supporting some of the divisive and inflammatory statements made by President Trump, Pence tweeted Rippon telling him not to believe the “fake news” that he’s being fed.
In spite of Pence crying “fake news” and sounding eerily similar to President Trump, Rippon is staying true to himself, his morals, and what he believes is right. Last month he told several interviewers that his mom would “kick [his] ass” if he talked to people the way the president does. He also told BBC, “Athletes are given a really special platform. It’s our duty, as athletes, to be role models. I won’t go to the White House.”
Since calling out the VP, there have been numerous attempts to get both Rippon and Pence to meet, but Rippon declined to meet prior and during the games but remained open to meeting with Pence after the games. He told USA Today recently that even though Pence is a bit more “mild-mannered” than President Trump, he doesn’t really believe in the same things as they do.
“He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump…but I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”