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BY AMY ROSEWATER Ever since the Olympic Winter


Games in PyeongChang, the world has belonged to Adam Rippon. The whirlwind that was winning a team medal, becoming “America’s sweet- heart” and being invited to compete on “Dancing with the Stars” has propelled the once small-town kid from Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, to the stratosphere of pop culture. Rippon’s life as a skater, in which


he was free to go almost anywhere unrecognized, is now gone. Since competing in the Games,


he headlined a 22-city Stars on Ice tour. He won the Mirrorball Trophy — the “Dancing with the Stars” version of the Olympic gold medal. He has had speaking engagements, posed for ESPN The Body Issue 2018, made guest appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show ” and graced the front page of The New York Times.


In a brief moment of downtime, while driving along a Los Angeles highway after his first weekend off from dancing, skating and media, Rippon reflected on how much his life has changed, his experience at the Olympics and what it was like to compete against Tonya Harding and win on “Dancing with the Stars.”


SKATING MAGAZINE: Where are you right now, and where will you be in the coming days?


Rippon: I know where I am today. I am in Los Angeles and it feels good to be home. I had my first weekend off but I got sick. Where will I be tomorrow? As far as tomorrow goes, not a clue. Right now, it’s all about walking through open doors. I have waited so long to get here. I am just going to enjoy the experience.


SKATING: But you are home now. It must feel good to at least put some of your clothes away in drawers.


Rippon: (laughing) I think you’re assuming that I put my things away in drawers. But I know what you mean. I wasn’t expecting all of this, and I am trying to just take it all in stride. I wasn’t expecting to be tweeted at by the vice president of the United States. Being tweeted at by Britney Spears and Reese Witherspoon was fun, but being heckled by the vice president … that I did not expect. It really changed everything for me.


SKATING: Prior to the Olympics, you probably did not get recognized in public too often. What is life for you like now?


Rippon: Wherever I go, usually one or two peo- ple will come up to me for something. It might


SKATING 23


Adam Rippon meets celebrities Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman at the 2018 Time 100 Gala.


Recording artist Rita Ora and Olympian Adam Rippon attend the 2018 TrevorLIVE gala in New York City. Rippon served as a cohost of the event, which is a fundraiser for suicide prevention resources and crisis intervention services for LGBTQ youth.


PHOTO BY BENNETT RAGLIN/WIREIMAGE


PHOTO BY KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME


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