Tag Archives: Adam

From Rooftop Burgers to Olympic Roommates: All About Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu's Sweet Friendship

What’s better than winning a medal at an Olympic Games? Doing it with one of your best friends!

Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu led the U.S. team to bronze at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the win is extra special for the longtime skating buds.

“We’re roommates here, staying at the Olympic Village,” Rippon, 28, told NBC Olympics. “We gave each other a hug and I said, ‘You know, Mirai, we’re here! We did it!’ ”

Nagasu, 24, made history on Monday when she became the very first American female to land a triple axel at the Olympics.

“I love my girl and so proud of her tonight,” Rippon said of Nagasu’s performance. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life, then to see my friend go out there and skate like that is even better.”

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Meanwhile, Rippon captured the internet’s heart thanks to his attention-grabbing free skate in the figure skating team event.

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The two have become fan-favorites at the Games, with Nagasu drawing kudos from figure skating icons, and Rippon striking internet fame. But just four years ago, the friends found themselves in tears after they narrowly missed an opportunity to participate in the 2014 Sochi Games.

“Four years ago, we got In-N-Out . We went back to her house,” Rippon recalled to NBC. “We climbed up to the roof of her house and we were eating In-N-Out because we were so upset that we weren’t at the Olympic Games.”

RELATED: The Most Spectacular Photos from Olympic Opening Ceremonies Past

The athletes sported wide smiles as they appeared on NBC with the medal. In a gif, Nagasu and Rippon are shown gushing over the win. Nagasu quote tweeted the post on to her account, writing, “Omg we need a new emoji for whatever I’m doing.”

The pair also share a celebrity fan: Reese Witherspoon. The Oscar-winning star called Rippon “Reason #1” to watch the Olympics, just before the Games kicked off last week. Rippon playfully noted that “I want to make Reese Wtherspoon proud” in an interview after his skate. She responded Monday morning to confirm that he indeed makes her “so proud.”

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The actress also traded tweets with Nagasu after the skater landed her history-making jump Sunday night, calling her “MY hero !!” after Nagasu noted that she watched the Witherspoon flick Home Again on the way to the Olympics. “I know it’s a movie but I wished you were my mom. You’re my hero.”

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The friends appear to have been enjoying their Olympics stint from the start. Just before Team USA marched out into the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, Rippon was shown planting a kiss on Nagasu’s cheek in a Snapchat video.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

Adam Rippon Jokes About Twitter's Love for Him After Olympic Debut: 'Maybe You Can Be on a Judging Panel Someday'

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon loves Twitter — and it loves him right back.

Minutes after a free skate in the figure skating team event on Monday morning at the Winter Games in South Korea and Rippon, 28, was already a trending topic on the site in the U.S., with users alternately basking in his third-place finish and confusedly wondering how he came in behind Mikhail Kolyada, the Olympic athlete from Russia.

Less than a point separated them (though to judge solely by the audience’s reaction in the 12,000-seat Gangneung Ice Arena, Rippon appeared to have the more compelling skate).

“I can’t control the score,” Rippon, 28, tells PEOPLE not long after leaving the rink. “But to the people that were distressed — I hope maybe you can be on a judging panel someday.”

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Speaking to reporters after he competed, Rippon said he was proud of his Olympic debut, both for himself and for what it contributed to America’s chances of a podium spot in the team event.

“I’m really excited that I was able to kind of go out there, show who I am, skate so strong,” he said, “and more than that, I really hope I can help Team USA get a medal today.”

Skating first to The Cinematic Orchestra’s “Arrival of the Birds” and then to “O” by Coldplay, and while he admitted to an attack of nerves just before taking the ice, Rippon seemed to skate without a hitch. As he finished, to waves of applause from the crowd, the moment caught up with him and celebration broke across his face.

“I hope there’s a skating judge who’s like, ‘Uh hey guys, Adam Rippon didn’t give us quads but he did give us THE TRUTH,’ ” writer Louis Virtel tweeted.

RELATED VIDEO: Kids Interview the 2018 Winter Olympic Athletes

In recent days Rippon has become something of a social media sensation, both among spectators at home and celebrities (including Reese Witherspoon) who are charmed by his drive, wit and candor.

An alternate at the 2010 Winter Games who missed the cut in 2014, and already a history-maker for being the first openly gay athlete to ever compete for America in the Winter Olympics, Rippon said later that what he has accomplished in spite of his age — skating, as ever, privileges youth — and other obstacles is a victory he will never lose.

He has also not shied away from the role fame gives him as an advocate for the broader LGBTQ community.

PEOPLE’s special issue The Best of Olympic Figure Skating is available now in the Time Inc. store, on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.

“I came here to do a job,” he said, “and I think that being vocal has kind of given my skating more importance. It’s not just for me. I got out there because — it’s not just gay kids, I think that everybody can relate to being different or feeling like they’re not good enough or they’ll never make it because they’re from a small town, or maybe they just don’t feel like they’re good enough.”

“Well I had those doubts too,” Rippon continued. “And I say that I can go out there and I want to show those young kids that anything is possible. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what other people say about you, you can put that all behind you and you can go out there and show the world what you have to offer.”

And while he joked with PEOPLE about his impending individual mens performance (“I definitely want to get a few more points, talk to those people on Twitter”), he did not let the significance of the day slip past him.

“This is a moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life,” he said. “Now I’m actually an Olympian. They have footage, they can pull it up. We love the records. Let the record show: Adam Rippon is an Olympian.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

Bizarre photo of Adam Lallana’s feet goes viral following Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

An incredible photograph of the feet of Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has garnered attention online this evening, following his side’s victory over Southampton.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at St. Mary’s, with Jurgen Klopp’s men eager to get back to winning ways after Tottenham’s late-show saw the Reds drop two points last time out.

Southampton, meanwhile, headed into today’s clash on an impressive 6-match unbeaten streak across all competitions, with the Saints’ last outing culminating in a thrilling 3-2 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

2-0

Liverpool were viewed as the clear favourites heading into this evening’s matchup, with the Merseyside giants taking little time to prove exactly why following kick-off.

With just 6 minutes on the clock, a long ball forward towards Mohamed Salah saw Wesley Hoedt fluff his attempted clearance, allowing Salah to slide a perfectly-weighted ball across to the incoming Roberto Firmino on the edge of the home side’s box.

Firmino slotted his ensuing finish home with aplomb, before the Reds’ brilliant attacking duo combined once again to double Liverpool’s lead shortly before half-time.

Firmino was the creator on this occasion, though, with the former Hoffenheim star having produced what many have since referred to as the ‘assist of the season’ in setting Salah up.

After Salah played the ball into Firmino’s feet 5 yards outside Southampton’s box, the South American proceeded to slide his teammate through on goal with the most sumptuous of flicked passes with his instep, with Salah going on to finish in typically-cool style.

Result

And this is how things stayed for the remainder of the clash, with the Saints struggling to create clear-cut goalscoring opportunities over the course of the second-half, whereas Liverpool could easily have added to their goal tally through the likes of Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane.

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While it was a relatively straightforward day at the office for Liverpool in terms of proceedings on the pitch, one aspect of today’s clash which may not have come across as quite so clear to fans was just how cold it was at St. Mary’s.

However, anyone seeking proof of just how bitter the air was in Hampshire this evening need look no further than Adam Lallana’s Instagram account.

Lallana, who was introduced as a late substitute by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, posted the following photo online shortly after the full-time whistle, with the caption ‘any suggestions for defrosting feet’.

Any suggestions for defrosting feet 😱❄☃ #nofilter 🤣

A post shared by Adam Lallana (@officiallallana) on Feb 11, 2018 at 11:21am PST

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Spirited Skater Adam Rippon Counts Reese Witherspoon Among His Olympic Fans: 'I Love to Be Different'

He’s an Olympic newbie at age 28 — and the very first openly gay U.S. athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics — but figure skater Adam Rippon doesn’t mind standing out from the crowd.

“I’m one of the oldest figure skaters competing now in the world on the Olympic level. I think in the past that would’ve discouraged me, but it kind of really motivates me because it’s different and I love to be different,” Rippon told PEOPLE in the months leading up to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where the takes the ice Sunday night in the states (Monday morning in Korea) as part of the figure skating team medal event.

“I love to have my own story, my own path and forge ahead because my career isn’t going to be like anyone else’s,” he added.

After Rippon was named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic team in December, the athlete subtly noted him place in LGBT history — posting two Instagram photos of himself along with several emojis, including a gay symbol.

The Scranton, Pennsylvania, native also recently talked about what it’s like to be a gay athlete in sports, joking both in an interview and on Twitter that “it’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eye brows.”

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More seriously, however, Rippon made headlines for publicly clashing with Vice President Mike Pence over the politician’s record on LGBT right.

According to a report published by USA Today on Wednesday, a member of Pence’s staff reached out to the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the 58-year-old politician and the 28-year-old athlete back in January.

The alleged request came the same day USA Today published an interview with Rippon in which he said he wanted to skip the standard meet-and-greet event between Team USA athletes and the American delegation, which is being led by Pence for this year’s opening ceremony.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon, who publicly came out as gay in 2015, said in the Jan. 17 piece. “I’m not buying it.” (A rep for Pence told PEOPLE at the time that the vice president does not and has never supported conversion therapy.)

Last month, Rippon told PEOPLE he stands by his USA Today comments.

“I just don’t think that’s right,” he says, “and I think there are so many people who also don’t think that’s right and I think right now more than ever I have this window of time to say what I feel and hopefully make a change.”

“My mom has always taught me to stand up for people who don’t have a voice,” he added.

 On Wednesday, Pence tweeted directly to Rippon, stating “I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!”

In his original conversation with USA Today, Rippon said he would be open to meeting with Pence after the Olympic games.

RELATED VIDEO: Ashley Wagner Thinks Adam Rippon in the Olympics Will Change How People ‘Interact with the LGBT Community’

Pence controversy aside, Rippon does have one celebrity staunchly in his corner: Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon.

“Reason #1 to Watch #WinterOlympics2018 : ADAM RIPPON” she tweeted Wednesday, which prompted a characteristically fun response from the skater.

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Although Rippon knows how to have fun, hard work — and overcoming adversity — is also something Rippon knows a lot about.

Just as his career was rising — thanks to his winning the world junior championships in 2008 and 2009, and serving as an Olympic alternate in 2010 — he missed being included on the 2014 Winter Olympic team. The setback was difficult for Rippon, but it also provided the champion figure skater with a renewed sense of fervor.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to compete, I had lost the reason why I was continuing to practice, train and compete because it’s hard. It’s grueling,” Rippon tells PEOPLE. “But I found that that was where my passion was at — it was in the everyday grind. It was improving and I still felt that at my very core I had so much more to give.”

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Through the years, Rippon says his best friend, figure skater Ashley Wagner, helped him to realize the power that comes from embracing his own path instead of trying to follow in the steps of the legendary skaters of the past.

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Missing the Olympic team gave Rippon the motivation to do things his way, and focus on having more fun with his performances. He was going to skate his best — while dancing to music he liked — without concerning himself with pleasing everyone else.

“I said, ‘I’m going to do this for myself,’ ” Rippon recalls. “As soon as I said that, I had a complete breakthrough.”

This personal revolution led to Rippon’s first national title in 2016. He placed sixth at the World Championships in Boston that year, and though he didn’t win, the audience gave him a standing ovation once his performance, set to a medley of Beatles songs, came to an end.

This freedom of dancing to the music he likes is something he is going to continue at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

“When I was choosing my programs for this season, I really wanted to skate to pieces of music that really resonated with me personally. As an audience member, I like to watch what they’re doing and that’s one of the reasons I love skating because it’s a performance, and I love to perform,” Rippon says. “That’s my favorite aspect of skating.”

At the Games, Rippon’s upcoming free skate medley will feature  “O” by Coldplay and “Arrival of the Birds,” the latter of which has special meaning.

In 2017, when he was warming up just before the national championships, Rippon sprained his left ankle and fractured his fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot. The injury led to his withdrawal from the championships. For Rippon, “Arrival of the Birds” will signify both his recovery and return.

“It’s about a bird who is the leader of the flock and then has a broken wing, but then regains their strength and they find themselves flying free to victory,” Rippon explains. “This season I’m coming off of that injury, but I’m so much stronger because of that. I never lost sight of what my goals were and I think that program is my story—I’m going to fly free. I can do it.”

He adds: “That broken wing is a metaphor for my broken foot, or falling short of the goals and the dreams that I’ve had before. But I won’t let that hold me back.”

What Rippon enjoys the most about skating is the “superhuman” feeling that comes over him while he is taking off, gliding through the air, and just before hitting that perfect landing just a split second later.

“You feel so powerful. It’s such an awesome experience,” he says, adding that the feeling is only heightened during competition. “Those are the moments athletes live for — we live for those exhilarating, breathless, take your breath away you’re on the seat of your chair moments. I think that in combination with a performance with the element of risk, that’s what makes skating so special.”

Reporting by ADAM CARLSON

Figure Skater Adam Rippon Jokes About His Teeth Bleaching Ahead of Olympic Debut

When figure skater Adam Rippon competes in his first Winter Olympics on Monday in South Korea, the smile he flashes may look a little shinier than normal — with good reason.

“I’ve been bleaching my teeth for the past few days and now the wind that I create from just talking makes them hurt,” he tweeted on Sunday. “Like, I think this is a sign that I’m officially ready for my Olympic debut.”

Rippon, 28, is the first openly gay athlete to qualify for Team USA in a Winter Games. He is also something of a noted Twitter aficionado, mixing on his timeline jokes, gratitude, shade and shout-outs to the celebrities for whom he has become a breakout star.

Sharing a recent piece about him in GQhe wrote of one of the photos accompanying the article: “I’m sitting in a Kohl’s parking lot bush. With the lights from the Taco Bell next door twinkling in my eye, Ryan Pfluger has never made me feel more beautiful.”

In an interview with the magazine, he said, “I’m proud of a lot of things I’ve said on Twitter.”

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Rippon, a former national champion, will compete in the men’s free skate during the figure skating team competition Monday. Joining him from Team USA will be Mirai Nagasu and ice dancing siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani.

While he was briefly involved in a dispute with Vice President Mike Pence, Rippon has said in recent days he is focused on competing, and he appears to be soaking up the pageantry and goodwill of the Games.

Walking during the opening ceremony, he shared a photo with freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, another openly gay athlete. (Kenworthy previously told PEOPLE he and Rippon were “excited to hang out and kiki in Korea.”)

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Not long after the Olympics opened, Rippon wrote — on Twitter, of course — that “tonight I walked in the #OpeningCeremony and got to watch my old friend @Yunaaaa light the Olympic flame.”

“Representing the USA is one of the greatest honors of my life,” he continued, “and being able to do it as my authentic self makes it all so much sweeter.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

Adam Schiff Completely Destroys Hypocrite Trump For Refusing To Release The Dem Memo

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) pulled no punches on Trump as he characterized the president’s decision as the hypocritical act of a man who places his own personal interests above national security. Video: Transcript via CBS’ Face The Nation: MAJOR GARRETT: The president as you well know and as the nation has learned declined to release […]

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