Gay US Olympian declined meeting with Pence

Gay US Olympian declined meeting with Pence

The spat between the athlete and the politician apparently began last month, when Rippon, who is the first openly homosexual athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics from the United States, blasted the White House for selecting Pence to lead the official US delegation to the 2018 South Korean Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Vice President Mike Pence's office and the White House have denied claims that gay figure skater Adam Rippon rejected an invitation to meet with Pence in protest against the VP's stance on homosexuality, arguing the invitation was never made in the first place. The figure skater was asked about Pence's selection for the ceremonial role of leading the United States delegation to the Olympic opening ceremony.

Asked in January for his thoughts on Mr. Pence being chosen to lead the delegation, replied, "You mean, the same that funded gay conversion therapy? I'm not buying it", Rippon told USA Today in an interview at the time.

Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, quickly released a statement in response to Rippon's remarks. His press secretary, Alyssa Farah, sent Brennan the following message: "The vice president is proud to lead the US delegation to the Olympics and support America's incredible athletes".

Pence, concerned with Rippon's criticism, had his staff contact the US Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two.

Both Rippon and Kenworthy said they would skip visiting the White House when President Donald Trump invites Team USA after the Olympics.

Pence will meet Moon on Thursday.

Rippon said he wasn't trying to pick a fight with Pence and said he'd consider meeting with him after the Olympics.




Vice President Mike Pence is seeking to reassure and refocus American allies on the growing nuclear threat from North Korea with visits to Japan and South Korea this week.

Rippon, the 2016 U.S. men's figure skating champion was selected to his first Olympic team in January after coming in fourth at the USA national championships.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that China saw the Olympics as a first step towards "everyday, uninterrupted" dialogue.

Rippon has already made history this Olympics: he's the first openly gay US athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.

"If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick. I hear from people that I used to go to school with who are now following figure skating, and keeping track of my career".

Rippon's public critiques of Pence have extended past those comments he interpreted as supporting gay conversion therapy.

In November 2016, Pence's then-press secretary Marc Lotter denied Pence supports gay conversion therapy.

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