Adam Rippon lit up the crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena, the audience back home and the internet with another dazzlingly entertaining performance in the Winter Olympics figure skating competition on Friday afternoon.
After skating clean in the men’s short program Rippon pumped his fists in the air and lay on the ice in delight as roars of approval cascaded from the stands.
Rippon scored 87.95 to put himself temporarily into third place after 21 skaters, with nine more to compete. He is highly unlikely to contend for a medal due to the absence of a quad jump in his program, but he may leave these Games as one of the most famous and popular male figure skaters in the world.
The 28-year-old was outspoken in the buildup to the Olympics, criticizing the presence of Vice President Pence due to the politician’s controversial history when it comes to addressing LGBT rights. Rippon came out as gay in 2015 and has already clinched a bronze medal at these Games, after being part of the United States group in the team competition.