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TEAM USA: Who is Adam Rippon?

08 February 2018

Gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon made it clear he disapproved of the Trump administration's choice to send Vice President Mike Pence as the ceremonial head of the USA delegation.

Rippon has already made history this Olympics: he's the first openly gay USA athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.

"You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?".

Rippon also said that Pence does not have a "real concept of reality" if he declares himself to be a "devout Christian" and stands by Donald Trump's policies: "If he's okay with what's being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called 's-holes, ' I think he should really go to church".

Pence was reportedly upset by Rippon's comments. Mr. Rippon similarly last month, saying he "wouldn't go out of [his] way" to meet with the vice president if given the opportunity before the 2018 Olympics kick off in PyeongChang, South Korea. "The accusation is totally false with no basis in fact".

Pence has always been against gay marriage, and the gay conversion accusation stems from a post on his congressional campaign website that said money should be "directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior".

The Olympian believes Pence supports gay conversion therapy therefore he isn't willing to go out of his way to meet the vice president before the winter games.

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"I'm not trying to pick a fight with the vice president of the United States", he said.

Scranton's Adam Rippon is a star on the Team USA figure skating squad. He reiterated that he would consider meeting with Pence after the games. "But I don't think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up".

Rippon last month said he wouldn't visit the White House if invited after the Olympics because he doesn't think he would be "welcome" as a gay athlete. "And I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and coming together and it seems like it's not really doing that".

Pence's staff shot back immediately denying that the Vice President had ever supported conversion therapy despite the position he posted on his website.

The figure skater said he would prefer not to meet Pence during the traditional meet-and-greet between United States athletes and the official delegation before the opening ceremony.

Rippon said he might speak to Pence if he felt there was a way to have "an open conversation".

TEAM USA: Who is Adam Rippon?