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Adam Rippon makes history as USA's first openly gay man to qualify for Winter Olympics

The figure skater will head to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang next month.

2018-01-08

Figure skater Adam Rippon has become the first openly gay man in US history to qualify for the Winter Olympics.

The 2016 US National Champion, who was an alternate for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, will form part of Team USA at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.

"I’m really grateful that the selection committee looked at my body of work over the last two seasons," Rippon told repiorters after his selection on Sunday (January 7).

"I feel that my experience will help me have my best performances at the Olympic Games, and it feels amazing to say that."

 

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28-year-old Rippon came out publicly in October 2015 after first telling his family about his sexuality in his early 20s.

Of his position as a gay sporting role model, he says: "I don't really care what other people think of me. I'm able to go out there and I'm really able to be unabashedly myself.

"I want somebody who's young, who's struggling, who's not sure if it's OK if they are themselves to know that it's OK."

Despite being the first openly gay man to qualify for the Winter Olympics, Rippon may not be the only LGBT teammember for long: Freeskier Gus Kenworthy, who won silver at Sochi 2014 before coming out as gay in 2015, will also find out whether he's qualified this week.

 The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang will be held between 9 and 25 February,and will be broadcast in the UK across the BBC.