U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon answered questions on a wide range of topics at a press conference on Tuesday including being an openly gay athlete, his inspirations, the Mike Pence controversy, and being a role model.
Watch the full interview above. Here are a few of his sound bites:
“The most important thing is that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. That you have a passion. That life really isn’t worth living if you don’t have passion. I have a passion for what I do.”
“I might come off as cocky, but I’ve been through a lot in my life. And I’ve used my sense of humor as a coping tool. It’s gotten me through a lot of challenging times and if I didn’t have a sense of humor I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
“Being here at the Olympics it does give me a louder voice. And I’ve got a big mouth and a loud voice. But it has given men a platform. I think it’s so important that I use this platform to my advantage. I think that me using my voice has given my skating a greater purpose. I’ve gotten so many messages from young kids all over the country that my story has resonated with them and it’s incredibly powerful…In the past week I’ve heard a lot of people like, ‘whoa, Adam Rippon should tone it down.’ I can’t tone it down. I’m being me. And I’m being myself. And I’d be doing myself an injustice, and I’d be doing an injustice to those kids who don’t feel like they’re comfortable to be themselves.”
“I talked to you about how I felt before the Games. And you know, it’s brought a lot of attention and questions to my other teammates. I don’t want to distract from their Olympic experience and I don’t want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence.”
And here’s Rippon’s performance if you missed it: