- Adam Rippon acknowledged in an interview that he was not the best figure skater but said he was “the most fun.”
- Rippon then momentarily took first in the men’s individual short program hours later.
- Rippon was immediately passed for first in the event, but his technically sound, energetic program impressed judges.
Adam Rippon has become a star in the Winter Olympics just as much for his bubbly personality as for his figure skating.
The 28-year-old US skater has won over audiences with his charisma and sense of humour, which he even says is his strong suit.
In an interview with NBC on Friday in Pyeongchang, shortly before competing in the men’s individual short program, Rippon gave an honest interview in which he said he knew he was not the best skater at the games – but was the most fun.
“Coming here, my most important event was that team event,” said Rippon, who earlier this week won bronze as part of the US’s figure-skating team. “To skate so well, I knew my job was to go and help Team USA get a medal. Now, I’m heading in the individual event, I know I’m not a medal favourite. And you know what, I know I might not be the best, but I’m the most fun. So I think that tonight, I’m really gonna enjoy myself, I’m gonna do my best to skate my heart out.”
It was an honest answer, with Rippon’s typical humour, that won over even more fans.
And then Rippon took the ice – and placed first, at least momentarily. Rippon’s score of 87 vaulted him into the lead, but he was passed immediately after by Dmitri Aliev, of Russia, who scored a 98.
Rippon never stood much of a chance in the event because he doesn’t have any quads in his routine. Judges award points for risk and difficulty, and Rippon’s program doesn’t have the most difficult trick in the sport. Still, as NBC’s Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski said on the broadcast, Rippon “wills” himself into competition with near-perfect execution for what he does. He’s technically sound and energetic.
Ultimately, Rippon seems unlikely to medal individually, something he knows. But for somebody who doesn’t consider himself the best, he momentarily topped the event and impressed judges even without the best jump.
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