Outspoken Gay Olympic Figure Skater Says No To Meeting With Pence

Randolph Lopez
February 8, 2018

USA Today reported Wednesday that two people with knowledge of the situation said Rippon turned down an offer of a meeting with Pence, who asked the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up the conversation.

When first asked about the choice of Pence to lead the US delegation, Rippon, 28, told USA Today, "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?" Brennan is also a CNN sports analyst.

That statement came after Pence's office declined to comment on the story before it was published, according to USA Today.

Pence communications director Jarrod Agen told reporters in Tokyo that the report was "false and should be corrected". "As we've said before, the vice president is supporting all the U.S. athletes in the Olympics and is hoping they all win medals", Agen said. Rippon's agent, David Baden, said his client would have no further comment on the issue.

As Vice President Mike Pence prepares to arrive in South Korea ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, United States Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon refused an opportunity to meet him.

Previously, 28-year-old Rippon accused Pence of funding gay conversion therapy in a USA Today interview.

Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, quickly released a statement in response to Rippon's remarks.

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Pence's press secretary responded to Rippon's comments at the time saying they were "totally false" and had no "basis in fact". "As we've said before, the vice president is supporting all the USA athletes in the Olympics and is hoping they all win medal".

The vice president attracted the ire of some in the LGBTQ community by signing Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law as governor of in in 2015, which critics claimed encouraged discrimination against gay people.

Pence sought a meeting with Rippon, who had criticized the choice to have Pence lead the USA delegation at Friday's opening ceremonies.

"After the competition I'm open to meeting him and having an open conversation, but opening ceremonies are tomorrow and I've been really focused", Rippon, who is taking part in his first Olympics, added.

"If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I'm finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation", Rippon told USA Today. "He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump".

Vice President Mike Pence is seeking to reassure and refocus American allies on the growing nuclear threat from North Korea with visits to Japan and South Korea this week.

The 28-year-old Rippon is the first openly gay US man to qualify for the Winter Olympics, though a number of Olympic figure skaters have come out as members of the LGBTQ community after their competitive days have ended. Kenworthy also took issue with the vice president leading the US delegation, calling it a "strange choice in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres Monday".

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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