Adam Rippon is an Olympian. It feels good for Kelly Rippon, Adam’s mother, to say after her son spent the better part of a decade training as a talented teenager without hearing so much as a peep about the Games.
Long before they flew into PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kelly and Adam would drive three hours from Clarks Summit, Pa. multiple times a week to train under Russian figure skater Yelena Sergeeva—who seemed petrified of jinxes.
“I think it’s almost like whistling in the theater,” Kelly said in a recent interview with GoodHousekeeping.com. “We didn’t discuss it.”
… As Adam sets his sights on impressing judges at his first Games, the constant buzz surrounding the 28-year-old hasn’t focused on his unprecedented back-to-back junior world championships, his 2016 national title, or his signature “Rippon Lutz”: a variation of the Lutz jump with both arms raised above the head. It has focused on his status as the first openly gay American to compete in the Winter Olympics.
Read the rest at NBCOlympics.com and watch video of Rippon
Without the pressure of racking up points to land on the medal podium, the figure skating exhibition gala is a chance for the athletes to express themselves. There aren’t rules about jumping sequences, and instead, skaters can use props and silly concepts, if they want.
Figure skaters who win medals at the Olympics are typically among the invite list, plus up-and-coming skaters from the host country and other fan favorites.
Here are some of the best performances of the evening:
Ice dance bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani reprised last season’s “That’s Life” short dance by Frank Sinatra featuring Jay-Z for this year’s exhibition.
Ladies’ gold medalist Alina Zagitova performed her “Priestess of Fire” exhibition, which included a fake candle prop glowing on the ice.
Watch performances from the figure skating gala by clicking here
Two-man? Check. Four-man? Double check. Francesco Friedrich piloted his German sled to gold in the four-man bobsled, becoming the sixth pilot to win gold in both the two- and four-man bobsled in the same Olympics on the final day of competition in PyeongChang.
After tying with Canada’s Justin Kripps in two-man, Friedrich made no doubt in four-man, sliding to a dominant win. The German sled was clear of second by 0.53 seconds. And in second? Another tie on the bobsled course — just like the tie for gold in two-man. South Korea and Germany shared the silver medal.
NBCOlympics.com: Remembering team USA bobsled star Steve Holcomb
South Korea’s medal was historic. Won Yun-Jong delivered for the home nation, bringing the country its first medal in the bobsled. Yun Sung-Bin won the country’s first medal in a sliding event by taking gold in skeleton earlier in the games. Germany’s Nico Walther piloted the sled that tied.
Codie Bascue piloted the top American sled to a ninth-place finish. Nick Cunningham and Justin Olsen improved in Runs 3 and 4 to finish 19th and 20th, respectively.
Gold: Germany (Friedrich sled)
Silver: South Korea (Won sled)
Silver: Germany (Walther sled)
Read the full recap and watch bobsled highlights by clicking here