Out figure skater Adam Rippon, the U.S.'s first openly gay man to qualify for the Winter Olympics, has criticized the White House's selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the 2018 U.S. Olympic delegation to South Korea.

The 28-year-old Rippon made his comments in an interview with USA TODAY.

Rippon said that he would not go “out of his way” to meet Pence during a traditional meeting held before the opening ceremony.

“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick,” Rippon said, a reference to Pence's reported support for therapies that attempt to alter the sexuality or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. A Pence spokesman in 2016 denied that Pence supports so-called conversion therapy.

Pence's press secretary responded to Rippon's comments, saying that the claim that Pence supports such therapies is “totally false” and “has no basis in fact.”

(Related: Trump once joked that Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people.)

“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality,” Rippon said. “To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘shitholes,' I think he should really go to church."

Rippon added that he would not participate in any form of protest while competing at the Winter Olympics.