Adam Rippon is a gorgeous, powerful figure skater who is not backing away from his values: he’s telling Mike Pence to pound sand. In an interview last month, Rippon, who is gay, objected to the choice of Pence to lead the U.S. at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, saying “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it.” Rippon subsequently said “I’m not trying to pick a fight with the vice president of the United States,” but that doesn’t mean he’s sucking it up and making nice:
[Pence] was so concerned about the criticism he received from U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two – an offer Rippon turned down.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly about it, a member of Pence’s staff requested the conversation with the openly gay Rippon after reading the skater’s derogatory remarks about him in a USA TODAY Sports story that had been published online just an hour earlier.
Rippon, the two people said, declined the invitation.
Good for him. Rippon is getting ready to skate in the Olympics at age 28, having won his first national title just two years ago. He doesn’t need the distraction of subjecting himself to Pence’s self-justifying efforts to candy-coat bigotry.