US Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon made headlines after he claimed that he doesn't want his Olympic experience to be all about Vice President Mike Pence.
“I think right now the Olympics are about Olympic competition and the athletes involved," he said. "I don't want it to distract from them, and I don't want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence.”
The 2016 men's figure skating champion, who USA Today claims is the first openly gay U.S. Winter Olympian, slammed the White House's selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the 2018 delegation to South Korea. Adam Rippon's criticism of Pence came in a phone interview in January.
"You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy," asked Rippon. "I'm not buying it. If it were before my event, 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. I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that."
“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation,” Rippon said. “He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump. … But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”
According to Business Insider, Pence has long been a critic of same-sex marriage, claiming that the deterioration of society will always follow from the deterioration of marriage, life, and the family. For this reason, Pence has remained a defender not only of traditional marriage but also the right to life from conception to natural death.
In response to Rippon's statement that he doesn't want his Olympic experience to be dominated any longer by Mike Pence, Donald Trump Jr. issued a scathing response on Twitter.
"Really?" he asked. "Then perhaps you shouldn't have spent the past few weeks talking about him. I haven't heard him mention you once???"
Vice President Mike Pence, however, has claimed that he too doesn't want Rippon's statement to be all about himself.
"I want you to know that we are for you," said Pence to Rippon in a tweet. "Don't let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and all of our great athletes and my only hope for you and all of Team USA is to bring home the gold. Go get 'em!"
According to Time Magazine, Rippon and his team have also said that Pence requested to speak with Rippon one-on-one. Rippon reportedly claimed that he wasn't interested in light of Pence's opposition to gay marriage.
In recent news, a former White House employee just slammed Vice President Mike Pence and mocked his Christian faith.