He won’t be competing in any more events, but the Winter Olympics are far from over for figure skater Adam Rippon!
NBC has hired the 28-year-old bronze medalist as a correspondent for the rest of the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to USA TODAY.
Rippon, the first openly gay athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics, has garnered the attention of thousands via his candid and colorful interviews. He earned a bronze medal in team competition, and he finished in 10th place in the singles competition, a big accomplishment that he’s extremely proud of.
“To come away from this Olympic Games to skate three clean programs in the midst of what seems like a lot going on, and a top-10 finish in the individual event and a bronze medal [in the team event], I think this is sort of like a dream Olympic Games for me,” he said. “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.”
While he’s used his platform as an Olympic athlete to speak out against Vice President Mike Pence and his stances on the LGBT community, Rippon doesn’t want his sexuality to distract from the person he is.
“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 said. “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.”
It looks like Rippon even caught the attention of pop queen Britney Spears.
Last Friday, the pop star tweeted out some sweet words of encouragement ahead of Rippon’s final competition.
“Hey @Adaripp…. I just wanted let you know that I am a fan, I am not in denial, and that you are THE MOST FUN!!” she wrote. “Keep making us all smile at the
#WinterOlympics and good luck today.”