Adam Rippon Turns Down NBC's Olympic Correspondent Gig to Stay in Olympic Village

The bronze medalist says he will not be a commentator for the peacock network

By Meg Swertlow Feb 19, 2018 3:18 AMTags

UPDATE: Despite the previous announcement that Adam Rippon would be doing commentary for NBC during the rest of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the fun-loving ice skater confirmed on Sunday night that he will not be making the jump to the peacock network. 

About 14 hours after USA Today's original story, the outlet published another article saying that "a person close to the situation" said Rippon had turned down NBC's offer.

Soon after the story hit that the Olympian had declined the new gig, Rippon appeared on NBC's sports network on Monday to explain his decision.

"I am you know I am so flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent. But if I took this opportunity, I would have to leave the Olympic team and I’d have to leave the [Olympic] Village," he told host Liam McHugh.

"And it’s so important to me that—I worked so hard to be on this Olympic team, and my teammates and my friends were there for me during my events and that meant so much to me, that I really feel like I need to be there for them during their events as well."


You haven't heard the last from Adam Rippon this Olympic Games!

The openly gay Olympic team bronze medalist, who has pretty much stolen the show with his jazzy one-liners and his flawless performances on the ice, has just been hired by NBC to work as a correspondent during the remainder of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On Sunday morning, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes announced the news to USA Today Sports on Sunday.

Hughes also said that the personality will join the Peacock network in a variety of platforms, including television, digital and social media—and that's just what's happening!

Rippon isn't resting on his laurels for a moment; his correspondent gig actually starts tonight.

Hours after news hit, NBC tweeted that the network would be utilizing Adam's talents for tonight's skating competition, "Got questions about figure skating? @Adaripp is here for you! Tweet us using #NBCOlympicIce and we’ll have the answers for you on Olympic Ice tonight at 7PM ET on @NBCSN!"

It's been quite an Olympic debut for Rippon, who recently placed 10th in the men's single's contest.

Rippon's televised interviews and social media comments have also taken on a life of their own, winning him many a fan for his hilarious take on the Olympics.

When asked how he felt when he hit the ice at his first Olympics, Adam joked to NBC, "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?'"

The 28-year-old also said, "This might be my first Olympics, but it's not my first rodeo!"

Prior to his first skate last week, he tweeted, "I've been bleaching my teeth for the past few days and now the wind that I create from just talking makes them hurt. Like, I think this is a sign that I'm officially ready for my Olympic debut."

Looks like he was!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The figure skater also made headlines before the Games when he publicly criticized the choice of Vice President Mike Pence, who has expressed anti-gay rights views, as the ceremonial head of the U.S. delegation to the Olympics. 

Tension began in January when Rippon, an openly gay Olympic athlete, was asked by USA Todayhow he felt about Pence leading the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9.

"You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I'm not buying it," Rippon replied.

And in response to Rippon's statement, Pence's press secretary told the publication, "The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America's incredible athletes. 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."

Once at the Olympics, Rippon told reporters after a practice session (via Reuters), "I don't want to distract from the competition or make this too much for my competitors and my teammates." He then added, "After the competition I‘m open to meeting him and having an open conversation, but opening ceremonies are tomorrow and I've been really focused."

During his talk with USA Today last month, Rippon said, "I'm not trying to pick a fight with the vice president of the United States." 

"If I had the chance to meet him [Pence] afterwards, after I'm finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation," Rippon told the publication.

There has yet to be a meet up between the skater and the VP in South Korea.

This story was first published at 4:58 p.m. PT on Feb. 18.

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