As the first openly gay United States figure skater to compete in the Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon is doing a lot more that winning medals — he's stealing the hearts of people all over the world for his honesty and adorable sass. The bronze-winning skater made headlines at the beginning of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after making it very clear that he had no interest in meeting Vice President Mike Pence, who was in attendance at the opening ceremony of the Games.
Earlier in the month, USA Today reported that Rippon rejected Pence's invitation to meet, with the athlete later confirming. "I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick."
However, since Rippon won a medal for Team USA, it seems he's had a change in heart. In an interview with NBC's Today on Feb. 23, he said he'd be willing to speak with the vice president.
"I feel that 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," Rippon shared. "I didn't take the phone call [with VP Mike Pence] because I needed to focus on the competition."
But when asked if he would take the call now, Rippon said, "Totally."
Pence has, in the past, vocalised support for gay conversion therapy and criticism of federal funding for HIV/AIDS patients. And when you're preparing for the most important event of your career thus far, as Rippon was, a fight with the vice president about LGBTQ+ rights is probably not the best idea to get your head right. However, if Rippon ever does speak with Pence, we'd love to be a fly on the wall while the skater gives the vice president a piece of his mind:
FUN FACT: Being true to who you are and not giving a shit about what others think about you is an awesome and liberating thing whether you are gay or not - Sometimes we the gays need to be reminded more often but, LIKE, EVERYONE SHOULD TRY IT, FOR REAL. JUST DO IT.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 14, 2018