In a post-performance interview with NBC, Rippon gave NBC’s Andrea Joyce his exclusive review of the Olympics. “Andrea, it’s like, pretty awesome, I highly recommend it,” he said. “If you ever have the option, come to the Olympics, it’s like a fun time.”
2. He gets nervous, too!
In a separate interview after his Monday-night performance, he told NBC’s Mike Tirico that he wanted something to calm his nerves during his performance. “I want to throw up, I want to go over to the judges and say ‘can I just have a Xanax and a quick drink?’”
3. He is the queen of pettiness.
When talking to GQ for their recent profile on him, Rippon explained that when he got to go through Olympic processing and get his uniform, he planned on wearing every t-shirt from the Olympics he didn’t make it to. “One of the people I skate with every day just said to me, ‘You wear a different Olympics T-shirt every day.’ Which is true! But I was like, ‘Bitch, I've been collecting these for the past eight years. In the two weeks before I actually get to go to the Olympics, I'm wearing every fucking T-shirt I've ever gotten in my entire life that has the Olympic rings on it.’”
4. He’s actually a witch.
Rippon has always been this funny. Back in 2016, when he won a gold medal at the U.S. championships and was vying for a spot on the US Olympic team, he told NBC’s Andrea Joyce that he can’t be written off so easily: “I'm like a witch! You can't kill me! I keep coming back every year, and every year I get better!"
5. Donald Trump inspires him … kind of.
In that same interview with GQ, Rippon said that sometimes, he likes to listen to podcasts while he works out at the gym. Some for fun, but some to get his blood boiling. “Sometimes I’ll be listening to NPR at the gym, and I’ll hear them say, ‘Oh, Donald Trump did this today.’ And I’m like, ‘WHAT?!’ All of a sudden I have more energy than if I drank an espresso.”
6. He’s truly embracing his status as our new gay icon.
Rippon knows that he inspires people around the world with his story. He knows it so much, that he knows how to flaunt it.
7. He pitched a movie to Reese Witherspoon.
When a legend like Reese Witherspoon notices you, it is your responsibility to make the most of her attention. Rippon did exactly that when the star tweeted about him last week.
8. He’s a Drag Race fan, just like the rest of us.
What better encapsulates a moment or feeling than a funny meme from RuPaul’s Drag Race? Rippon knows this, and used Morgan McMichaels’ face to perfectly encapsulate his thoughts on rehearsing his routine.
9. He also has great eyebrows.
The athlete often gets asked in interviews what it feels like to be America’s first openly gay Olympian. He took to Twitter to answer his most-asked question once and for all back in December.