Adam Rippon makes Olympic debut in figure skating team event

Maddie Meyer  Getty

Maddie Meyer Getty

Over the past few weeks, U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has been feuding with Vice President Mike Pence, after Pence was chosen to lead the Olympic delegation in South Korea.

Clarks Summit native Adam Rippon and his mother Kelly posed for a photo with Adam's bronze medal following his Today Show interview.

"I've always spoken my mind and from the heart", Rippon said.

"I don't want my Olympic experience being about Mike Pence", he said. It was badly needed when he was left off the Olympic team four years ago, and he and women's skater Mirai Nagasu shed tears while sitting on the roof of her house eating In-N-Out burgers as others competed in Sochi.

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Speaking of the Sesame Street crowd, at the same press conference where he called himself "America's sweetheart", he explained his motivation for being out and proud at the Games. "Mike Pence doesn't stand for anything that I really believe in".

"Andrea, it's, like, pretty awesome", Rippon said.

Rippon has joked he wouldn't be at the Olympics without his haters, and has been vocal about owning who he is and being proud of that (also, his awesome eyebrows).

"I remember a practice with Rafael [Arutunian], and I was like, Raf, I don't like to compete", Rippon recalled at nationals in January. "When I was hungry", he said, "it made me feel strong".

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"The REAL one for I did for TV says "my mom" but, like, I needed this one for myself because it was the first thing that actually popped in my head and I thought I was so amusing". And as soon as I was able to let go of those doubts, that's really when I was able to find my voice.

It's great that he's handling all this hoopla so well, but by far the greatest part of this whole story comes when the game designer compared his own physique to that of the Olympic skater. It has nothing to do with how I got here.

"To all those who tweet at me saying that they "hope I fail", I have failed many times many times in my life", Rippon wrote. "I'm here at the Olympics". "I think I had a stress fracture before I broke my foot", he said. "I've got so many messages from kids all over the country - I'm getting so emotional thinking about it - I think that's why it's so important".

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