U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon said he is gay in this month’s issue of U.S. Figure Skating’s official magazine and that he considered coming out before the Sochi Olympics.
“Being gay is not something that defines me,” Rippon, 25, said in Skating magazine. “What defines me is what my mom always taught me: to treat everyone with respect, to always be a hard worker and to be kind.”
Rippon has skated in three World Championships, with a best finish of sixth in 2010, but never the Olympics. He was eighth at the January 2014 U.S. Championships, missing the two-man 2014 U.S. Olympic team.
“It’s the year 2015. So many more athletes are willing to be open, and it’s part of the culture now to be more open about who you are and what your interests are,” Rippon said in the magazine. “Of course people are interested in your sexual orientation. People love rumors. When athletes come out and say that they’re gay, it makes it a little more normal and less of a big deal — especially in the athletic community. You have a lot of respect for your fellow athletes for working hard toward a goal. Their sexual orientation takes a backseat to that.”
Rippon is scheduled to open his season at Finlandia Trophy in Finland next week. He is entered in Skate Canada on Halloween weekend.
“I want to be a relatable example,” Rippon said in the article. “And I want to say something to the dad out there who might be concerned that his son is a figure skater. I mean look at me; I’m just a normal son from small-town Pennsylvania. Nothing changed. I’d just like to be a good role model. I’ve been honest with myself the whole time. I worked hard and loved what I did.”
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