Figure Skater Adam Rippon Becomes First Openly Gay Man To Qualify For US Winter Olympics [VIDEO]

NPR reports:

As of Sunday morning, 28-year-old figure skater Adam Rippon will be the first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the Winter Olympics. Despite a disappointing fourth-place performance at the U.S. figure skating championships Saturday night, Rippon was selected to join Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou in Pyeongchang next month.

“I’m really grateful that the selection committee looked at my body of work over the last two seasons,” Rippon told reporters on Sunday.

The committee’s decision wasn’t without controversy. Rippon’s selection edged out Ross Miner, who placed second in the national championship. U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier said the athletes’ track records in international competitions were a deciding factor.

The Washington Post reports:

Rippon had entered that free skate a clean performance away from his first Olympic Games, one year after breaking his foot, four years after nearly quitting figure skating altogether — and 82 years after the last American man his age made an Olympic skating debut.

Then he fell on his opening jump, turned two triples into singles and stood wide-eyed in the terrifying aftermath. After a decade spent on the painful Olympic periphery, his best chance seemed to disintegrate in 4½ disappointing minutes.

Then — with Wagner, his mother and others there for congratulations or consolation — came the text. The committee had voted 11-1 to place Rippon on the Olympic team instead of surprise silver medalist Ross Miner, who had a less impressive international track record. U.S. champion Nathan Chen and bronze medalist Vincent Zhou, the two most quad-laden Americans, were near-givens for the team. Rippon, one of the longest-standing remnants of a more artistic era, had not been.

RELATED: Per Wikipedia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics seven openly gay women competed for other countries.

  • Treant

    Let me know when there’s an openly straight male figure skater, will you? That would be news. 🙂

    • AmeriCanadian


    • Todd20036

      Brian Botano?

      • Treant

        I said “openly.”


      • Robincho

        “He’ll make a plan and see it through!
        That’s what Brian Boitano’d do!” — South Park

    • Rambie

      So sassy today Treant. 🙂

      • Robincho

        Something about liking to be ridden by Roy Moore?…

        • Rambie


      • Joe in PA

        Treant is JMG’s “sass master”. 🙂

        (from the video)

    • ETownCanuck

      I remember a sportscaster who was aghast at Johnny Weirs brazen flamboyance, breathlessly claiming that “Mens Figure Skating was a bastion of Heterosexuality.” And then some wit on here, I cannot remember whom..made a comment that almost made me snort coffee, “the only sport that could possibly be gayer would be competitive ass fucking.”
      I have never forgotten it.

      • TheManicMechanic

        You can easily ignore the Russian judge’s low score and not have it affect the overall average when it comes to scoring Olympic ass fucking.

        • MT YVR

          There might have been a rather drunken night that involved the following yelled at the end of things:

          And he sticks the dismount!



          • TheManicMechanic

            A triple axel in this case sounds painful.

            If you move Olympic ass-fucking from the skating rink and onto the gymnastics floor, you’d really have something. Do it all as you would the pommel horse. Those would be some seriously stout bottoms. 😉

        • Kruhn

          In figure skating the highest and lowest scores are scrapped from the average, if memory serves.

          • bandanajack

            if i recall, in an excess of caution, i think it is the TWO highest and lowest after a massive balkan bloc scandal of you vote for mine i will vote for yours, and it was a shame because the skaters on the penalized french ice dance team were not involved but were banned from skating, even tho they were the prohibitive favorites, annesina and pizarat of france.

            the sport is better for the fix tho.

        • Antonia

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    • Lizard

      Evan Lysacek?

      • e jerry powell

        Nastia Liukin might have interesting things to say about that.

  • bkmn

    His skate Saturday was nearly flawless. He is quite talented.

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      He fell at least twice.

  • Acronym Jim

    Jeez WP, the guy is 28, not 82.

    • Todd20036

      Too bad. That would be cool!

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        You had to say that. Now Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are going to compete in the winter Olympics.

        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          Betty White could do it, and bring home the Gold !

    • Gustav2

      Figure skaters have a shorter shelf life than Hollywood ingenues.

  • Butch

    I thought Gus Kenworthy (skier) had already qualified?

    • Gregory B

      Me too, Butch, but he may have another run or two yet.

  • Todd20036

    Note, first OPENLY gay

    Remember that queen who dressed up like a Russian soldier because he thought Russia was our friend, or some such. Weir.

    Good for this skater. Maybe some day an out skater won’t be newsworthy

    • another_steve

      That this is still news in 2018 is, in a sense, disheartening – but we can’t / shouldn’t detract from his wonderful sense of pride in who he is, and his courage.

      He’ll receive death threats.

      • Todd20036

        Yup. The Nazis are empowered in this country again

        And most of the threats will come from Narnia queers

      • Gigi

        Imagine people being shocked and upset that a male figure skater is openly gay.

        • e jerry powell

          “Openly’ being the sticking point. There are few skaters of any nation that come out while they’re still competing. Open secret is more typical.

          • Gigi

            Still sad. They’re figure skaters, not NASCAR drivers.

  • another_steve

    And he’s the only gay male figure skater out there.


    • e jerry powell

      “Open” is the key word. Judges do mark down non-conformists.

  • Stogiebear

    I’d have thought that honor was already taken by Margaret Court.

    • Treant


  • dcurlee

    Congrats to him..he’s a cutie too

  • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

    Sorry, Ross Miner nailed it on Saturday night. Amazing performance. Adam Rippon who is the same age fell at least twice, further he comes across as an arrogant asshat. Ross should be in the team.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    What say you Johnny Weir ?

    • Todd20036

      THATS who I was thinking of

      That fucker dressed like a Russian soldier

      Meanwhile gay Russians are legally murdered

      • pj

        check out what she wore to the golden globes last night. yikes.

  • BlackGayVeganAtheist
    • Gustav2

      Shhhhh no one suspected.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    “Openly” being the key word. Back when I worked in a gay bar we would get a pretty decent crowd whenever the Ice Capades were in town.

    Still, it’s hard to believe he’s the first. Was Gus Kenworthy not out already when he qualified?

    • jerry

      Gus came out after the last Olympics…don’t know if he’s officially qualified for skiing this time.

    • Robincho

      Adam’s definitely ready for the Ass Capades…

    • aagold76 .

      the qualifying for Gus’ event hasn’t taken place yet….Gus is in a very competitive field- his doing a reality show the last couple months won’t help his chances.

      • KT

        I have a feeling Gus is going to fall into the Tom Daley trap – all the extra curricular activities like reality shows and stuff preventing him from concentrating 100% on his training and choking once he is on the Olympic stage (granted Daley did win a bronze medal in Rio but not for the event he had been aiming for). There is plenty of time for reality shows and YouTube videos once your Olympic career is over.

        • aagold76 .

          in the event he was aiming for- he came in 18th- didn’t qualify for the final….Tom has all the talent in the world, but when he goes to a competition, he goes to dive AND promote himself/his brand, make videos, etc…the Chinese go to competitions to win- PERIOD….they’re too good to half ass it against.

    • pj

      dick button.

  • Tesauro

    Who cares. Labels don’t mean anything.

  • Paula

    Are any male figure skaters straight?

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      There are rumored sightings, but it’s like Bigfoot.

    • Stogiebear

      They’re in line right behind the straight church organists.

    • Gustav2

      Scott Hamilton is the only unicorn I am sure of.

      • e jerry powell

        elvis Stojko is aggressively heterosexual.

        • prixator

          Hehehe. I was just thinking that before I read your comment. I’m Canadian, but never cared for his aggressive and excessive “straightness”.

          He once skated a martial arts routine. Gurl!

    • MBear

      “Id motorboat that. I’d motorboat the hell out of that…. right after this layback spin”

    • Statistics Palin

      What do you call a straight male figure skater? A hockey player

  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

    Because I’m shallow.

    Steve, THIS could be your Kushie Krush replacement??

    • Tawreos

      Nothing wrong with being shallow on occasion.

    • another_steve

      He possesses, shall we say, a certain charm.

      But is he a billionaire?

      • Joe in PA
      • That_Looks_Delicious

        On the other hand, he probably won’t be spending the next 20 years in prison. That’s a plus.

        • Joe in PA

          Oh please, oh please. And take his brother-in-law with him.

        • another_steve

          After six months of absence from Jared, Ivanka will renounce her Judaism and move into some mob boss’s New York City penthouse with her three kids.

          Then I’ll make my move.

          • Danieruw

            So she’s going to move back home to Daddy?

      • Gustav2

        No, but he is not likely to be sent to jail,

        There is that.

    • Gigi

      Hello, gorgeous!

    • narutomania

      I don’t generally get moved by the young’uns, but damn, he’s cute.

      • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

        Doesn’t do it for me at all, but thought others would enjoy. I’m a generous sort.

  • TJay229


    I’ll be watching this marvelous 17yr old Black Girl from DC destroy all of her predominantly White competition as she did in her trials.

    Proving that once again, Black Girls are MAGIC!

    • Sailor Steve Holt

      Is this a parody account?

      • TJay229

        Is that what your dad said to your mom after she brought you home?

  • olandp

    “The sass master”, really?

    • Joe in PA

      And did you hear the hateful/jealous tone in which it was said? Ugh.

    • JW Swift

      Yeah, I was on his side at first, then I began hearing that and other remarks from the commentators, implying that he is full of himself and probably has no humility whatsoever. Kinda’ ruined it for me (although I do think he’s an adorable kid).

  • TexasBoy

    He’s a cutie, but why have competitions if 4th place can get a spot and 2nd place can not? I could see him as an alternate, but to be chosen over a second place qualifier?

    • Ron Robertson

      It apparently has to do with with how they do overall, not just in this one competition. Not an unreasonable standard, I’d say.

  • Gene Perry

    Ross Miner got screwed. He placed 2nd, he should go to the Olympics!

  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

    O/T: “Last May, Jared Kushner accompanied President Trump, his father-in-law, on
    the pair’s first diplomatic trip to Israel, part of Mr. Kushner’s White House assignment to achieve peace in the Middle East. Shortly before, his family real estate company received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, an insurer that is one of Israel’s largest financial institutions, according to a Menora executive.”

    • Joe in PA

      Shhhh, nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

  • aagold76 .

    well- he didn’t really qualify- he was placed on the team- at another guy’s expense….US Figure Skating only started doing that (knifing people in the back) 4 years ago….before to be petitioned on to the team- you had to be injured and sit out the US Nationals….they placed Ashley Wagner on the team 4 years ago and she came in 7th- hardly worth it…I don’t Adam will do any better than she did- he has a history of gagging at big events. He says since he was young he wanted to be out once he had a platform- guess that’s why he remained closeted the first 6-7 years of his career and after winning several events…..he says his place on the team will empower/etc (like a gay male figure skater is revolutionary), yet- he blocks gay guys on twitter…..

  • TrollopeReader

    ummm… ’twas ever thus ??

  • Bluto

    There’s gay figure skaters?

    • GanymedeRenard


    • BearEyes

      You learn something new every day.

  • Kevin Perez
    • GanymedeRenard

      Beat me to it!

    • whollyfool
    • ByronK

      Oh dear DOG, someone has been over-watering the flowers…with vodka.

    • Chuck in NYC

      I never realized how much he looks like Beatrice Lillie.

  • GayOldLady

    When I see the headlines, First Openly Gay NFL Player is welcomed into League, I’ll be impressed, until then nothing else in the sports world matters.

  • GanymedeRenard

    I thought Johnny Weir was the first openly gay man to qualify for the Winter Olympics? I might be wrong, though.

    • e jerry powell

      He wasn’t out at the time.

      • GanymedeRenard

        Hmm… When was he officially out? He never hid it as far as I know.

        • Chuck in NYC

          They seem to be drawing a line between being open with your friends, neighbors and fellow sports folk and announcing it at a press conference or on television. Whatever.

  • misterjack

    What about Rudy Galindo? Wasn’t he out in the ’90’s?

    • MusicBear88

      Never went to the Olympics.

  • Gigi

    Hats off and congrats to Adam but I find it sad that we didn’t have our first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the Winter Olympics until the year 2018. It gets better…but why does it take so bloody long?

    • Sailor Steve Holt

      Yeah, I find the claim highly suspect. The U.S. has sent delegations of at least 200 to the past four Winter Olympic Games and at least 100 for the eight Games before that. IMO, it’s likelier that he is the first openly gay man competing in a high profile event.

  • Lazycrockett

    They are all playing in Chen’s field. He is doing things that just is jaw dropping.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Lol ” the sass master “

  • JT

    Figure Skater Adam Rippon Becomes First Openly Gay Man To Qualify For US Winter Olympics

    The emphasis is on “openly”.

  • Gene Perry

    Are you serious with this? A gay figure skater … who would have thought it? Huh, Rudy? Brian? Johnny?

    • Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. I mean, are you only “openly” gay if you say the words directly to a reporter? Because Johnny hasn’t hidden a damn thing.

      • GanymedeRenard

        He even had a reality show (“Be Good, Johnny Weir” if I remember correctly) where he explicitly said he was gay. And it hadn’t been a secret, either.

  • Mike in Texas

    Wasn’t Rudy Gallindo out when he medaled in the Olympics?

    Edit: Google tells me he medaled at US Nationals, not Olympics.

  • BeaverTales

    You go, Adam…you got lucky enough to get a final chance! Don’t blow it, baby…

    You better work!

  • Andymac3

    Headlines like this make me realize how far behind America is compared to the rest of the Western world. I remember reading a headline like this in the eighties in the UK when I was a teenager.

  • A big reason there have not been any out gay figure skaters falls on the US Figure Skating Association (USFSA). They have done nothing but deny there are gay figure skaters, when they should have be at least promoting inclusiveness in sports. It is sad that the NHL Hockey teams, along with many other teams and sports, are doing a better job of this through their You Can Play program: and Pride Tape:

    You will not see the USFSA doing anything at all to help or promote LGBT athletes – even when Adam is a member and is out and competing….. Look on their website for any mention of LGBTQ, Gay and Lesbian – you will not find anything:

    • Here is Adam’s profile page on the USFSA website:

      No mention of him being the first out gay figure skater or winter sports athlete.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Thanks for posting, Derek Etnyre! For those of us who are not familiar with the vagaries of competitive figure-skating, it’s good to know there are a few of us, who are…

    • e jerry powell

      The USFSA ain’t the WNBA…

      And let’s not even start with the ISU.

  • JWC

    Good performance

  • Hue-Man
  • Lizard

    I like Miner, but I’m so happy Rippon qualified. He had easily the most entertaining short program and even though he messed up jumps in his freeskate, his program was still one of the most if not the most artistic.

    He’d better get to work on those quads to have a hope of beating Chen (who landed five of them in his freeskate and won by 20 points, a huge margin for figure skating), but I can’t wait to see him perform at PyeongChang.

  • The Milkman

    OMG that kid has a face like an angel. I just wanna pinch his cheeks and put little bows in his hair.

  • seant426

    “The Sassmaster.” 😂

  • Matt

    Ross Miner should be going. The silver medalist should NOT be left out as a first alternate.

    • Chuck in NYC

      I agree. What’s worse, he’s not even first alternate. The U.S. committee brainiacs in this still subjective sport bumped the quad-less Jason Brown to first alternate and made Ross the second alternate, with the same team/positions for both the Olympics and World Champs a few weeks later. In other words, they bumped Ross down to 5th. “Body of work” over “performing when it counts.” It boggles the mind. I want to be glad for Adam, but he singled out of a planned triple. As Tara and Johnny repeatedly told us last week, you get more points for trying a triple and failing than successfully completely a double or single.

  • jawnbc

    Canadian paris skater Eric Radford came out in late 2014—almost a year after his Olympic début, where he won a silver medal—but he went on to win Worlds in 2015 and 2016 with Meghan Duhamel. Amazingly that made him the first openly gay figure skater to win a world title. in 2015. The mind fairly boggles.

    There has always been a tension in men’s figure skating between the macho and the artists. Plushenko, Joubert and (the worst) Stojko were all over the top in their efforts to be MANLY. Chan, Hanyu, Petrenko all had to fight uphill battles to those who felt they weren’t aggressively athletic. Women skaters who were considered “too” athletic—Bonaly, Harding come to mind—also were marginalized. It’s a very heternormative, gender-rigid sport. Still one of my faves though.

  • KP

    From extensive experience with them, figure skaters have the best butts bar none. No athlete, weightlifter or fitness model can compare.

    • MarkBuster

      beg to differ.. but old man was in the choir for sf ballet about 200 years ago, and at 55, he’s still my favourite ass.. wait. did I say that right? lol

  • YUGE