Out figure skater Adam Rippon on
Tuesday said that he does not want his squabble with Vice President
Mike Pence to spoil his Olympic experience.
The 28-year-old Rippon is one of two
openly gay men on Team USA competing at the Winter Olympics in South
Korea. The other athlete is skier Gus Kenworthy, 26.
Rippon and Kenworthy have criticized
the White House's selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the
2018 U.S. Olympic delegation. Pence is opposed to LGBT rights,
including marriage equality.
Kenworthy, Adam Rippon to Mike Pence: “Eat your heart out.”)
Speaking at a press conference in
Pyeongchang, Rippon said he would continue to speak out on LGBT
“I have no problem about what I've
said because I stand by it, but I think right now the Olympics are
about Olympic competition,” Rippon
“It's brought a lot of attention to
my other teammates and I don't want it to distract from them.”
“I don't want my Olympic experience
being about Mike Pence,” he said.
Rippon got emotional talking about the
response he's received from speaking out about LGBT rights.
“I can't tone it down. I'm being me
and being myself,” Rippon 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.”