Winter Olympics: Adam Rippon slays in first figure skating commentary stint alongside Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones

Nick Duffy February 21, 2018
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Figure skater Adam Rippon has tried out professional sports commentary, and it might never be the same again.

The Winter Olympics bronze medallist has become a high-profile advocate for LGBT rights while competing in South Korea, making headlines by speaking out against US Vice President Mike Pence.

But it’s his charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that’s won over the hearts of viewers around the world, with the figure skater fielding offers to become a professional commentator during the remainder of the games in PyeongChang.

The 28-year-old popped by the NBC Olympics studios this week to give commentary a try, alongside Ghostbusters star and figure skating fan Leslie Jones.

The pair joined NBC to commentate on the performance of Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who picked up a gold medal at the games.

Rippon and Jones were giving it their future Drag Race guest stars all.

Partway through the pair’s dance, Jones asked: “Are they getting in trouble for how sexy they are?”

Rippon quipped: “I watch her, and sometimes I feel like I can feel my hair growing!”

Praising Virtue’s routine, Jones said: “She just makes me feel like a woman.”

Rippon joked: “I get that.”

Don’t get used to it, though.

Rippon recently said he had rejected a lucrative TV commentary offer to support his Olympic teammates.

He explained: “I am flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent for them here in PyeongChang.

“Doing this would require me to leave Team USA and move out of the Olympic Village.

“I don’t want to do that so I had to declined the opportunity.

“More I love being on Team USA and representing our country. My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them.

“I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition. Go Team USA!!!”

Rippon paid tribute to to the “overwhelming” support he’s received as one of the first openly gay men to compete at the Winter Olympics.

“Being here at the Olympics does give me a louder voice,” said the skater. “It has given me a platform. It’s given me a voice to reach to young kids.

“I’ve gotten so many messages I could even get emotional thinking about it… I’ve gotten so many messages from young kids all over the country that my story’s resonated with them.

USA's Adam Rippon reacts after finishing his routine in the figure skating team event men's single skating free skating during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

“It’s incredibly powerful this platform that you can have at the Olympic Games.”

He added after the news conference that he has started responding to an email from an 18-year-old outside Detroit who had written to Rippon to tell him the skater had given him hope.

“I really want to take my time with this,” Rippon said.

And he refused to stop speaking out in support of LGBT rights, especially as he now has countless children and young adults looking up to him.

Adam Rippon celebrates after competing in the Figure Skating Team Event Men's Single Free Skating (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“In the past week, in addition to all the support I’ve gotten, I’ve heard a lot of people say, Adam Rippon should tone it down, and blah blah blah,” he said. “I can’t. I can’t tone it down.”

“I’m being me and I’m being myself and I’d be doing myself an injustice and I’d be doing an injustice to those kids who don’t feel like they’re comfortable to be themselves.”

Related topics: adam rippon, Gay, LGBT, olympics, Olympics, Television, US

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