Adam Rippon won’t be in figure skating competition this fall. He will be a judge instead.
Rippon will be one of three judges for “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” premiering Oct. 7, along with “La La Land” choreographer Mandy Moore and “Dancing with the Stars” veteran pro Val Chmerkovskiy.
Rippon won the recently completed all-athlete mini season of the series, beating fellow figure skater Tonya Harding to become the sixth Olympian to lift the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Rippon, who at 28 was the oldest U.S. Olympic singles skating rookie in 82 years, said last month he’s unlikely to compete in figure skating again. He finished 10th in PyeongChang and earned a bronze medal in the team event.
“I used to be embarrassed [to dance],” as a child, Rippon said on “Good Morning America” on Monday. But not anymore.
“You know why?” he said. “I was thrown to the fire [last season on “Dancing”], lived with the wolves, and that’s what I’m going to do with these kids.”
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With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.