Adam Rippon would speak to Mike Pence now – to challenge his anti-gay views
Adam Rippon has now said he would speak to Vice President Mike Pence – to confront him over his anti-LGBT views.
The Team USA figure skater said before the Olympics that he would refuse to meet Vice President Mike Pence, who’s leading the US delegation in South Korea, due to Pence’s opposition to LGBT rights.
Rippon said: “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it.
“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality,” Rippon said of Pence.
“To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory.”
He reiterated this position during the Olympics, saying: “I have no problem talking about what I’ve said because I stand by it.”
But, he added, “I don’t want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence.”
His time in Pyeongchang has been triumphant, with America’s self-appointed sweetheart winning a bronze medal at the same time that Eric Radford became the first ever openly gay man to win gold at the Winter Olympics.
“Being here at the Olympics does give me a louder voice,” the skater has said. “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.
“It’s incredibly powerful this platform that you can have at the Olympic Games.”
And it seemed to be with this fact in mind that Rippon told the Today show that he would now speak to the vice president.
He said: “Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I was taught when I grew up, and I think that it’s important if you’re given the platform to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.”
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When asked why he had refused to speak to Pence before coming to Pyeongchang, Rippon explained: “I was offered a phone call with the vice president that I decided not to take before the Games.
“I didn’t take the phone call because I needed to focus on the competition.”
Watch Rippon’s full response here:
“Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I was taught when I grew up, and I think that it’s important if you’re given the platform to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.” @Adaripp tells @craigmelvin pic.twitter.com/w3No1ksMq4
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 23, 2018