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Team USA’s firstly openly gay Winter Olympian Adam Rippon thought he’d never be able to come out

The skating star talks sexuality and sport in Attitude's Body Issue.

By Will Stroude

Adam Rippon will be the first out gay man to represent America in the Winter Olympics when he skates out onto the ice in South Korea later this month.

But as the 28-year-old figure skater and former US National Champion readily admits, however, there was a time when he believed that particular feat would never come to pass – at least not for him.

As he celebrates his place on Team USA in Attitude’s Body Issue – available to download and in shops now – Adam reveals that stereotypes about the sexuality of male figure skaters ironically made it harder for him to accept his own.

“I think it’s such a cliché to be a gay figure starter and everyone makes fun of you for being gay as soon as you start skating so you badly want that not to be true,” he explains.


“And when you finally get the realisation, when you get a little bit older that, “Oh shit, I’m gay,” you’re like, “but I don’t want to be’.”

The 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship winner goes on: “I don’t think I found a world that welcomed me. Along with that stereotype there’s sometimes the pushback, the ‘Not another one, we don’t want them’. That’s the way some people feel.”

Continued attempts to repress his identity as a young gay sportsman had a profound on Adam, who eventually came out to friends and family aged 22, and to the rest of the world at 25.


Adam Rippon, shot by Magnus Hastings exclusively for Attitude’s Body Issue

“I remember being young and thinking to myself ‘I will never tell anyone that I’m gay’,” he recalls.

 “It’s so sad to repeat this but I remember verbatim saying to myself, ‘Nobody will ever know, I will never tell anyone, I have to live with this for the rest of my life’.”

Read the full interview with Adam in Attitude’s Body Issue – out now. But in print, subscribe or download.