Adam Rippon Didn’t Win the Gold But He Won Our Hearts

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With the splash made by openly gay and impressively agile figure skater Adam Rippon at the 2018 Olympic Games, we at SFGN thought we'd take a second look at our 2014 tribute to LGBT identified professional skaters. We have added Rippon to the list.

Cute as a button, Rippon's elegant agility made hearts swoon around the world. He is the 2010 Four Continents champion and the 2016 US National Champion. Selected to represent the United States at the South Korea Winter Olympic Games, he won the Olympic Bronze medal as part of a figure skating team event. Rippon is the first openly gay male to win a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Rippon stated on Twitter that the difference between gay and straight athletes is that gay athletes have better eyebrows. Rippon has also been highly critical of Vice President Mike Pence, who led the U.S. Delegation to the games and who is a supporter of gay conversion therapy--Rippon also declined to speak with Pence, but now says he's willing to talk.

Here are some other gay figure skaters. 

 

Brian Boitano:

The handsome Boitano placed second in the 1984 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which earned him a spot in the Winter Olympics that same year. He placed fifth.

Boitano competed at skating championships for the next four years, returning to the Olympics in 1988. He competed against fellow champion Brian Orser in what was called Battle of the Brians. Boitano took the gold and went on to win many championships.

Since his retirement, Boitano won an Emmy for "Carmen on Ice." His many projects include "What Would Brian Boitano Make?," a Food Network series. The show's title is a nod to the running gag What Would Brian Boitano Do on the animated series "South Park."

He's also hosted The Brian Boitano Project on HGTV and has published a cookbook.

In December 2013, President Barack Obama named Boitano to the U.S. Delegation at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Boitano immediately came out as gay in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent signing of anti-gay laws.

 

Brian Orser

Brian Boitano's competitor won Silver Medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. He was outed in 1998 when his former partner sued him for Palimony. He has since embraced the support he got from other skaters and the public.

Orser is currently the head instructor at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club.


Johnny Weir

Weir has competed in many skating championships. He placed 5th at the 2005 Olympics and 6th at the 2010 Olympics. His flamboyant appearance caused speculation about his sexual identity. Weir came out in his 2011 autobiography. 

Weir has also modeled, been a guest judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race," and appeared on Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List.

Weir, an admitted fan of Russian culture, was hired by NBC as a commentator at the 2014 Sochi Games. He was immediately condemned by Catholic News Agency columnist Louie Verrecchio, who called Weir a "flamboyant, cross-dressing homosexual man." Weir has also been condemned by the LGBT community for his participation in Sochi. His husband is of Russian descent.



John Curry (1949-1994)

British figure skater won a Gold Medal at the 1976 Olympics, the year he retired from the sport. He was named by the BBC as Sports Personality of the Year, also in 1976.

After his retirement from competition, Curry founded a touring skating performance troupe, performing on Broadway in 1978. Two years later, he returned to Broadway in a revival of the classic musical "Brigadoon."

Curry tested positive for HIV in 1987. He spoke to the press about his disease and his sexual orientation. He died of an AIDS-related heart attack in 1994, age 44.


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