Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

Winter Olympics 2018: Adam Rippon opens up about starving himself

Josh Jackman February 17, 2018
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 13: United States Figure Skater Adam Rippon speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre on February 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Getty)

Adam Rippon has opened up about the years he spent starving himself.

The 28-year-old figure skater ended his Winter Olympics today with a tenth-place finish, after winning a bronze medal for Team USA earlier this week.

His medal-winning performance came in the same team event in which Eric Radford became the first ever openly gay man to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

(Twitter/rad85e)

But it is Rippon who has captured hearts all over the world, as he repeatedly uses his platform at the Pyeongchang Games to talk about how proud he is to be gay.

He has told his followers: “LBGTQ ppl are still targeted in hate crimes, sent to concentration camps, are asked about their ‘lifestyle’, and questioned about the bathroom they use.

“So, until that stops, it’s important to be ‘out’ and visible.”

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17:  Adam Rippon of the United States competes during the Men's Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games  at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Getty)

The Olympic medallist also told press before the Games that he would refuse to meet Vice President Mike Pence, who’s leading the US delegation in South Korea, because of Pence’s anti-LGBT stances.

He has stayed to these positions despite the inevitable backlash, responding to haters by calling himself – among other things – “a glamazon bitch ready for the runway.”

But he has revealed that for years, he starved himself.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 13:  United States Figure Skater Adam Rippon speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre on February 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Rippon said he was opening up about his struggles with body image issues for the same reasons he came out and took on the role of LGBT activist – to help other people to avoid pain and suffering.

Speaking to The New York Times, he said in 2016, his usual daily diet was three slices of whole grain bread with a thin spreading of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and three cups of coffee.

“It makes me dizzy now to think about it,” he said.

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17:  Adam Rippon of the United States competes during the Men's Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games  at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Getty)

He weighs 150 pounds now – 10 more than he did in 2016.

Rippon said: “I looked around and saw my competitors, they’re all doing these quads, and at the same time they’re a head shorter than me, they’re 10 years younger than me and they’re the size of one of my legs.”

The turning point happened last year, when Rippon broke his left foot while hopping to warm up.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 13:  United States Figure Skater Adam Rippon speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre on February 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Getty)

It made him realise what his diet was doing to his body.

“I think I had a stress fracture before I broke my foot, and I think that was absolutely because I was not getting enough nutrients,” he said.

After he started working with US Olympic Committee sports dietitian Susie Parker-Simmons, he felt the fatigue lift off him.

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17:  Adam Rippon of the United States competes during the Men's Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games  at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“I didn’t realise I was so tired all the time,” he said.

The day after it was announced that he would be going to Pyeongchang to represent the US, he went to a restaurant in California and ordered a Caesar salad with seared ahi tuna.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 13: United States Figure Skater Adam Rippon speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre on February 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Between mouthfuls, Rippon said: “I don’t feel any guilt eating this.

“But there is a part of me that’s thinking: ‘How nice. I’m treating myself to creamy dressing.’”

More: adam rippon, body image, Eric Radford, olympics, Olympics, pyeongchang, team usa, US, US, vice president mike pence, Winter Olympics

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon