Of all the breakout stars of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon has emerged as America’s sweetheart.
The figure skater helped the U.S. figure skating team win a bronze medal in the team event the first week of the games, and has been winning audiences over ever since.
Rippon stopped by the “Today” studio to chat with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on Monday about his time so far.
“We’re trying to figure out who’s had a better Olympics than you,” Kotb said. “Maybe somebody who actually won them?” Rippon joked. “I don’t know… I feel like I won them, but I didn’t.”
“Like, I’m a winner, but, I didn’t, you know?” Rippon added as the “Today” hosts laughed.
But not having a gold medal isn’t stopping Rippon from soaking up his Olympics experience. He’s garnered a wide fan base not only for his skating chops, but for his social media clap-backs and sassy interviews. Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, and Sally Field have tweeted out support and praise to the figure skating darling (Field even tried to set him up with her son).
“It’s unreal, but it’s great. I feel so honored that I’ve had the opportunity to share my story with so many people,” Rippon said, jokes aside. “It’s always been so important to me and I just think through this whole process I’ve been so totally myself, and really honest.”
“Throughout this whole process, I’ve never talked about being gay, or my eyebrows, so much in my entire life,” he added.
Being himself paid off : NBC offered Rippon a correspondent position for the rest of the games, but he declined so he could stay in the Olympic Village and cheer on his Team USA teammates.
“My friends and my teammates were there for me through all my events and I owe it to them to stand by their side and be there for them during their events,” Rippon said. “I came here an athlete, and I am representing my country, and to do that to the best of my ability I have to be there for my teammates.”
You can watch the full interview here.