Last week, figure skater Adam Rippon was “hailed a hero” for refusing to meet Vice President Mike Pence at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PeyongChang, South Korea. However, after publicly trashing Pence, Rippon got a brutal reality check when he took the ice for his Olympic debut.
Adam Rippon first began making headlines after he refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence because he said Pence supported “gay conversion therapy.” That claim turned out to be false. Pence, although a strict Christian who does not support same-sex marriage, never backed the controversial therapy that Rippon was talking about.
Even Snopes, the left-leaning fact-checking website, admitted that Rippon’s claims were nothing more than salacious rumors. Still, the skater refused to meet with Pence.
Karma came swiftly, though, when Rippon made his Olympic debut on Monday. The figure skater executed a relatively easy routine, disappointing the judges, who expect to see something more impressive out of Olympians. He walked away with a bronze medal.
But, here’s the real kicker — the two skaters who beat him both fell during their own programs.
ABC News reported on Monday:
Rippon landed two triple axels today in his routine that helped the U.S. earn a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition. Rippon finished with a lower score than Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada and Canadian skater Patrick Chan, both of whom fell during their routines.
By this point, Rippon had acquired quite the following of loyal social media fans who jumped on the bandwagon during his feud with Pence. They were outraged when he lost to two competitors, both of whom had fallen during their routines, and alleged that Rippon had been “robbed” of the gold medal.
However, as usual, the angry leftists hadn’t taken any time to examine the facts before jumping to conclusions.
In a column for USA TODAY, Maggie Hendricks explained why Rippon scored lower than Kolyada and Chan: Figure skating prizes innovation over a simple, yet clean, routine. The judges were more impressed with Kolyada and Chan, who had attempted difficult maneuvers, than with Rippon, who played it safe.
“During the men’s portion of the team figure skating event, Adam Rippon of the United States skated a clean program. OAR’s Mikhail Kolyada and Canada’s Patrick Chan both fell, but scored better than Rippon,” writes Hendricks.
“To understand it all, we have to take a trip back to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when American Evan Lysacek won gold,” she explained. “The scoring at that time valued clean skating over innovation. Lysacek and his coach Frank Carroll worked the score sheet, taking advantage of 10 percent bonus given to jumps in the second half of the skate. What Lysacek didn’t do was try a quad,” she continued.
“Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko, who performed a quad toe in combination but whose skate wasn’t as clean, was livid,” added Hendricks. “He won the silver medal, but complained that an Olympic champion should do a quad. The skating world agreed that innovation was needed, and changes were made to the scoring system to reward skaters who tried different and new things,” she wrote.
“If a skater falls on a quad, technical judges take a close look. Did he land it before he fell? They also look closely at what a skater’s foot is doing on landings to make sure it is fully rotated when it lands,” she further explained. “The reason quads are such a big deal is because they take so much time to perfect.”
Clearly, Rippon should have been more focused on his skating than his political agenda. Perhaps, if he had turned his attention to his sport instead of expending so much energy trashing the vice president for no good reason, he could have scored better.
Sadly, Rippon’s story is not at all unique. Each time the Olympics rolls around, we see world-class athletes use their considerable platform to push whatever political agenda is popular at the moment. Take, for example, Lindsey Vonn, the world-class skier who hates President Donald Trump with such a passion that she vowed she would not visit the White House even before securing her spot on the Olympic team.
Frankly, the only acceptable message for athletes like Vonn and Rippon to be disseminating is a patriotic love of their country, as they are representing the United States abroad.
It appears that Adam Rippon is not an Olympian in any sense of the word. He doesn’t push the envelope, honing his craft to the point that he can perform the most difficult tricks, and he doesn’t even have enough respect for his country to shake hands with Vice President Mike Pence. He’s lucky to have placed third.