Gay Olympian Adam Rippon Declines to Meet With Mike Pence

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

Update: Since originally publishing this piece, Pence has tweeted the following:

Mike Pence, who's been selected to lead the U.S. delegation into the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, reportedly tried to meet with openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon after learning of critical remarks the athlete made about the vice president. Rippon has declined the conversation, MSN reports. 

Pence's concern stems from remarks Rippon made to MSN last month about the VP: “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it," before continuing, "“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation. He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump. … 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.”

Related | There Are Now Two Openly Gay (& Gorgeous) Figure Skaters Who've Qualified For This Year's Olympics

Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, responded promptly to Rippon's words, saying, "“This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

However, the accusation is actually not false, since Pence's 2000 congressional campaign website said: "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” This seems to indicate pretty clearly his support of conversion therapy. 

Rippon has also said he will not go to a post-Olympic celebration at the Trump White House. Skier Lyndsey Vonn has shared the same sentiment. 

 

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