At one point, U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon may have predicted that his fancy footwork on the ice would make headlines during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, but it has actually been the moments surrounding his routine that took over social media. (And people's hearts.) The first openly gay athlete competing in the Winter Olympics, Rippon crushed the men's free skate portion of the team competition, and while his routine netted him a Bronze medal -- itself a headline-making controversy -- everything else Rippon does is pure gold. Take this NBC interview, in which he hilariously recommends attending the Olympics.
For what it's worth, few people in history have exuded sincerity more freely than Adam Rippon did in that interview when he said the experience was "pretty awesome" before flat-out highly recommending that people visit the Olympics if the option is available. I hear it's also pretty sweet to get front row seats to the Super Bowl, to go backstage at Kendrick Lamar shows, and to walk around the moon. So if anyone has the option to do any of those things, Rippon would probably give his thumbs up.
Adam Rippon's boundless glee for the Olympics is exactly what we need right now, since it not only gives the U.S. some major attention in the South Korea games, but it also strengthens the belief that you don't have to go home with the gold in order to be a real winner at the international event. And it turns out Rippon had a slightly more personal hope for his free skating success, which involved a certain Big Little Lies star.
Somehow, a Reese Withersoon namedrop felt like the most natural thing in the world at that moment, and it's obviously because Adam Rippon can make any random comment sound all the more fabulous when he's delivering in it with his post-routine glow. In fact, his comments even earned a response from Witherspoon herself, and we wish we could have seen that Rippon reaction on live TV.
Of course, not all the comments Adam Rippon put out there struck everyone in the same way. Speaking with Mike Tirico, the skater discussed his pre-routine jitters in a frank way, saying he wanted to ask the judges for a Xanax and a drink to help soothe his nerves. The comment had many laughing, though others decried his words for being a bad influence on younger viewers.
But prescription pills and alcohol aside, Adam Rippon is being celebrated for mostly all the right reasons. He's making history at the Olympics, and he's doing so in a way that puts the spotlight on Team USA's successes as much as his individual efforts. If you needed a clearer sign of Rippon's happiness, just check out his reaction to Mirai Nagasu's stunning triple axel.
NBC's Olympics coverage has been dogged by viewers for years, and with constant access to just about everything through streaming, fans now have more chances than ever to watch footage without necessarily having to deal with awkward analysts and commentators peppered in. Of course, that means the risk of missing brilliant moments like those that Adam Rippon has provided, but then I guess the Internet is here for that, too.
Olympics coverage will continue airing on NBC and its many sub-networks until the 2018 winter games are complete. When in need of something a little less sports-centered, head to our midseason premiere schedule.