For many, the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was the most awaited event of the year. The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stood among many Americans in support of their country.
Pence has been known to be against the LGBTQ+ community and members of it were not the happiest to see him. American Adam Rippon, the first openly gay figure skater at a Winter Olympics who won bronze this year, refused a meeting with the Vice President.
When the possibility of a meeting was first proposed to Rippon, he was quick to answer.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon said.
This led to a confused Pence to release a series of tweets talking about how proud he was of Rippon and telling him not to believe the “fake news.” The “fake news” he was referring to is his support of gay-conversion therapy, which baffled people after his support for the therapy is a well-known fact.
Rippon moved on from the traditional meeting with the official delegation and went on to win bronze in the team event, in his first Olympic games.
After finishing his event, the topic of meeting Pence was brought up once again to Rippon and there seemed to be a change of heart.
“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation […] But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in,” Rippon said.
Vice President Mike Pence is yet to respond to Rippon’s latest statement and it is unknown if he will. Rippon refusing to meet with Pence is only the beginning of making progress for the LGBTQ+ community. Regardless of the denied meeting, Rippon went on to proudly win a medal like many other American Olympians.