Adam Rippon will compete on Dancing with the Stars
American figure skater Adam Rippon will sashay his way onto the Dancing with the Stars floor, it has been revealed.
He will be joined in Dancing with the Stars: Athletes by infamous ice skater Tonya Harding and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
His best friend in ice skating, Team USA’s Mirai Nagasu, will also compete in the show.
The Olympic bronze medallist will be shaking it with professional dancer Jenna Johnson when the 26th season of the show starts on April 30.
Rippon has been working towards his reported goal of hosting a reality TV show with Ellen DeGeneres ever since his medal and social media-winning performance at the Pyeongchang Games.
When Rippon appeared on DeGeneres’s show, he revealed his celebrity crush and told her that being with her on TV was a dream come true.
“I’ve been wanting to be on this show and meet you since I was born 28 years ago, so maybe for 27 of them, at least, I’ve been wanting to be here, so this – this is it,” he said to applause.
And in an interview with People Magazine, Rippon spoke about his ambitions for a career in TV.
“I want to be on television,” the skater said. “I really like engaging with people, I really like making people laugh.”
Speaking about DeGeneres, he said: “When I was young and coming out, I really looked to her story because I felt like in her career she faced… backlash for coming out and there was a push against her.
“She kept her head down and she worked hard and now she’s one of the most recognisable and beloved people in America.”
“I think she’s funny, I think she’s engaging,” he added.
“And I had the chance to meet her and be on her show and I was like, ‘I love this.’ I think she is so great and she has followed a path that I would love to follow.”
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He said: “I want people to be like, ‘Adam Rippon is hilarious and we love him and did you know that he went to the Olympics?’”
The Olympic figure skater had a spectacular Games on and off the ice while becoming – as he put it – “America’s sweetheart.”
He won a bronze medal in the figure skating event, which saw Canadian figure skater Eric Radford become the first ever openly gay man to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
Rippon was also involved in American actor and director Sally Field’s attempt to set him up with her son, director Sam Greisman, during the Winter Games.