US figure skater Adam Rippon has walked out of the closet. He announced he’s gay in the October issue of the US Figure Skating’s official magazine. The 25-year-old has participated in three World Championships, finishing sixth in 2010. He’s not skated in the Olympics; he placed eighth in the 2014 US Championships, missing the 2014 Olympic team.
‘It’s the year 2015. So many more athletes are willing to be open, and it’s part of the culture now to be more open about who you are and what your interests are,’ Rippon said in the magazine, according to NBC Sports.
‘Of course people are interested in your sexual orientation, he continued. ‘People love rumors. When athletes come out and say that they’re gay, it makes it a little more normal and less of a big deal — especially in the athletic community. You have a lot of respect for your fellow athletes for working hard toward a goal. Their sexual orientation takes a backseat to that.’
Rippon hopes he can be a role model to future skaters and tier families.
‘I want to be a relatable example,’ the skater said. ‘And I want to say something to the dad out there who might be concerned that his son is a figure skater. I mean look at me; I’m just a normal son from small-town Pennsylvania. Nothing changed. I’d just like to be a good role model. I’ve been honest with myself the whole time. I worked hard and loved what I did.’
The figure skater is scheduled to compete next week at Finlandia Trophy in Finland.