US figure skater Adam Rippon comes out

Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

Adam Rippon of the United States performs during the men's free skating in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

Adam Rippon of the United States performs during the men’s free skating in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.

“Being gay is not something that defines me. What defines me is what my mom always taught me: to treat everyone with respect, to always be a hard worker and to be kind. It’s the year 2015. So many more athletes are willing to be open, and it’s part of the culture now to be more open about who you are and what your interests are. Of course people are interested in your sexual orientation. People love rumors. When athletes come out and say that they’re gay, it makes it a little more normal and less of a big deal — especially in the athletic community. You have a lot of respect for your fellow athletes for working hard toward a goal. Their sexual orientation takes a backseat to that. I want to be a relatable example, and I want to say something to the dad out there who might be concerned that his son is a figure skater. I mean look at me; I’m just a normal son from small-town Pennsylvania. Nothing changed. I’d just like to be a good role model. I’ve been honest with myself the whole time. I worked hard and loved what I did.”

— Champion silver medalist Adam Rippon, in a recent interview with Skating magazine

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