NEW YORK — Adam Rippon hopes to bring more quadruple jumps and a special T-shirt to the World Figure Skating Championships in Boston next month.
Rippon, who won his first U.S. title two weeks ago, pulled out of the Four Continents Championships in two weeks, a Worlds tune-up event, in part to bolster the option in training of making major changes to his programs.
He will possibly add a quadruple toe loop and a quadruple Salchow to his quadruple Lutz, the hardest four-revolution jump being attempted.
“I’d be adding one [quad] to the short [program] and, ideally, I would love to add another one or two to the free skate,” Rippon said at the Winter Carnival at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park in Manhattan on Friday night. “I have eight weeks, so I’ll see what I can get done.”
In his two Grand Prix series starts and the U.S. Championships this season, Rippon attempted a combined four quadruple jumps over six programs, all Lutzes, and fell each time. Three times, judges downgraded the jump. Once, at Nationals, it was under-rotated.
Rippon captured his first Nationals crown in his eighth attempt on the strength of his spins, footwork and overall performance.
But, as is the case in skating these days, focus centered on the jumps. Rippon attempted one quad over two programs at Nationals, a free skate quad Lutz, while second-place Max Aaron landed three quads overall and third-place Nathan Chen put down six.
Afterward, an emotional Rippon told NBC’s Andrea Joyce, “I’m like a witch, and you can’t kill me.”
His costume designer gave Rippon a T-shirt with the phrase printed on the front, and the skater plans to bring it to Worlds in Boston next month.
Rippon, the only man to win two World Junior titles (in 2008 and 2009), finished sixth, 13th and eighth in his three previous senior Worlds appearances.
“My goal is to skate my best, and I feel that if I skate my best, a good result will follow,” Rippon said. “I can’t control the results.”
Rippon, along with Aaron and U.S. fourth-place finisher Grant Hochstein, will hope to skate well enough to keep three spots for the U.S. men at the 2017 World Championships.
To do that, the placements of the top two Americans must add up to no more than 13 (such as Jason Brown‘s fourth and Rippon’s eighth last year).
The 2014 U.S. champion Brown and 16-year-old phenom Chen are out with injuries, putting onus on Rippon to lead the way.
“I’m confident that I can pull my own weight and do my own share,” he said.
In Boston, Rippon will return to the scene of the worst U.S. Championships performance of his career — in 2014, when Rippon entered with a shot of making the two-man Sochi Olympic team, finished eighth and considered quitting at age 24.
He recently spoke with two champion U.S. skaters about competing at Worlds on home ice — Evan Lysacek, gold medalist in Los Angeles in 2009, and Michelle Kwan, gold medalist in Minneapolis in 1998 and Washington, D.C., in 2003.
“I’m ready to go back to the TD Garden and rip it up,” Rippon said.
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