Just days ago, Olympian Adam Rippon and his fellow American figure skaters each earned a bronze medal after slaying TF out of the team skating event at this year’s Winter Games in South Korea. The 28-year-old athlete took to Twitter on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to celebrate the milestone.
“Adam Rippon, Olympic Medalist sounds v cute. Couldn’t have done this without my incredible teammates,” he proudly wrote. In an exclusive interview with Life & Style, Adam opened up about the pressure to win on his own.
“I mean, girl, I’m not going to win,” the Pennsylvania native joked before explaining that “the most important thing is that I go out there and that I do really well.” Adam went on to say that he can’t wait to show off some “really great performances” after months and months of intense training. “I think that’s going to speak really loud.”
And, of course, he’s going for the gold. “So I just wanna show that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it,” Adam said. “And for me, it was going to the Olympics and I hope that I can get a medal for Team USA.”
When the 2018 Olympics finally conclude on Sunday, Feb. 25, Adam — the first openly gay man to ever qualify for the Winter Games as a Team USA competitor — is looking forward to using his newfound platform to advocate for the LGBTQ community.
“You know, I read that Aly [Raisman] once said, ‘It’s not what you do at the Olympics that matters. It’s what you do after.’ And to see what she’s doing now in her fight against sexual abuse, she’s made her gymnastics so much more than just that. She’s a voice. She’s a maker of change. I want to be the same thing,” Adam told Life & Style. “In a day and age where I can be out and myself and be open and competing for the United States at the Olympics, it’s huge because I’ll be marching alongside countries where they don’t have good track records on LGBTQ rights or they don’t view LGBTQ citizens as equals.”
He added, “I want to get more involved in activism. I feel like when you’re helping other people, it gives you a lot of personal and inner strength. So I hope that me sharing my story can help a lot of people. After this, I would really like to channel that into making a difference.”
Learn more about Adam at teamusa.org. The Winter Olympics are live until Feb. 25.