Gay skater Adam Rippon says he's open to speaking to Mike Pence after Olympics
Rippon had said in the past that he wouldn't go out of his way to speak to the vice president.
Despite Mike Pence's best efforts, it does not appear that he'll be getting to have a conversation with gay U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon -- at least not yet. Rippon, at the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang on Friday, reportedly turned down an offer from Pence to have a conversation about remarks that Rippon made last month, per MSN. However, he isn't completely closing the door on having a talk after the games.
"I don't want to distract from the competition or make this too much for my competitors and my teammates," he said to reporters after practice on Thursday, via MSN.
Rippon made pointed comments to USA Today in January about why he didn't support the choice of Pence to lead the U.S. in South Korea.
"You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I'm not buying it," he said.
Shortly after the comments, Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah responded to USA Today on the interview.
"The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America's incredible athletes," Farah said, via USA Today. "This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang."
Apparently, however, it didn't stop there. Pence reportedly reached out to Rippon later on to set up a conversation between the two, an offer that Rippon turned down.
Rippon later said that he was only focused on training for the Games. "I'm not trying to pick a fight with the vice president of the United States," he said on Jan. 30.
However, after the Winter Olympics, Rippon said he may be willing to continue the conversation.
"After the competition I'm open to meeting him and having an open conversation, but opening ceremonies are tomorrow and I've been really focused," he added on Thursday.
For Rippon, focus has been extra important leading up to these games, but he doesn't seem worried about his concentration breaking.
"If anybody can do it, I can," he said, via MSN. "Because I think I have a lot of experience that my competitors don't - I'm 28, I've dealt with a lot of things in my life and I think at the very core I've always spoken my mind."
Although Rippon isn't shy about speaking his mind, however, he does have priorities.
"I've been waiting 28 years to be here and I want to do everything I can to stay focused and ready for this opportunity," he said. "It's my opportunity to show the world what I've got and represent my country the very best that I can."
Gus Kenworthy,, agreed with Rippon's sentiment in an interview on "Ellen" on Tuesday, calling Pence a "bad fit." Rippon and Lindsey Vonn have already said that they after the Olympics for a celebration hosted by Donald Trump. For now, Rippon's mind appears to be solely on competition. After that part is over, perhaps he'll want to have that conversation after all.
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