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Adam Rippon would speak to Mike Pence now – to challenge his anti-gay views

Josh Jackman February 23, 2018
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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.

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)

“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.”

Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon (Instagram/guskenworthy)

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.

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: (BROADCAST-OUT) United States Men's Figure Skater Adam Rippon poses for a portrait with his Bronze medal for the team event on the Today Show Set on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)

“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.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09:  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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.”

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:

More: adam rippon, Gay, Mike Pence, olympics, Olympics, Politics, sport, US, US, winter olympics 2018

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