His name is Adam Rippon and he’s the first openly gay Winter Olympian. He’s a figure skater who is poised to compete in the Winter Olympics in Peyongchang, South Korea. Can’t say I blame him for rejecting any interviews with the Vice President. After all, despite the claims of the Vice Presidential staff, he is notoriously anti-gay. If I were Adam Rippon, there would never be an interview even post-Olympics.
Adam Rippon, the first openly gay athlete to win a place on the US Winter Olympics team, turned down an invitation to meet Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday, the second time he’s done so.
“I don’t want to distract from the competition or make this too much for my competitors and my teammates,” the figure skater, 28, said on Thursday.
I’m sad to see that such an outspoken athlete won’t be participating in the Olympics next year, but I know his reasons are valid. I hope he shows support in other ways.
Johnny Weir won’t be going to the Sochi Olympics.
At least, not as a skater.
U.S. Figure Skating confirmed Tuesday that the two-time Olympian did not register for the qualifiers for the national championships, where the Sochi team will be selected. The deadline to register was Sept. 1. The three-time U.S. champion can’t get a free pass to nationals, either. According to U.S. Figure Skating rules, only skaters who placed in the top five at last year’s nationals or who won medals at the most recent Olympics or world championships are eligible for byes.
Weir has not competed since withdrawing from last year’s Rostelecom Cup, his first major event since finishing sixth at the Vancouver Olympics. He did not return a text message asking for comment.
Two other former U.S. champions, Rachael Flatt and Alissa Czisny, are registered for the qualifiers. Flatt, the 2010 U.S. champion, and Czisny, who won in 2009 and 2011, missed last year’s nationals because of injuries. They would have to place in the top four at both their regional and sectional competitions to earn spots at the U.S. championships, which begin Jan. 9 in Boston.
Johnny Weir is officially my new hero.
Figure skater Johnny Weir is gay, married to a man of Russian descent, and hoping to skate for the U.S. in Sochi. Russia’s anti-gay laws hit him close to home. Weir knows if he makes the U.S. team, he will be in danger of being arrested when he competes in Sochi.
This doesn’t deter him from wanting to make his third Olympics. Weir said if he is arrested for the better treatment of the LGBT community in Russia, “so be it.”
“If it takes me getting arrested for people to pay attention, and for people to lobby against this law, then I’m willing to take it,” he said to CBS, adding: “Like anyone, I’m scared to be arrested. But I’m also not afraid of being arrested.”