Breakout Olympic skater had to survive starving hell to get here

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The 28-year-old figure skater became the first openly gay male athlete to win a medal when he took home the bronze during the team event in Pyeongchang earlier this week.

There was such pride and grace in the way Rippon skated, in the way he joked with interviewers and cheered with his teammates.

In a tweet, Trump went after the skater for his criticism of Mike Pence. To that end, some television coverage of Rippon sometimes glosses over (or skips entirely) how his sexual identity fits into his personal narrative, and the official transcripts of Rippon's interview on Monday that were provided by Olympic officials did not include any responses that weren't of the stock sports variety.

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"I have no problem about what I've said because I stand by it, but I think right now the Olympics are about Olympic competition", he said. "It's really fun to be me".

"#FAKENEWS. Our athletes are the best in the world and we are for ALL of them!", Pence wrote before addressing Rippon directly. During an interview with NBC's Mike Tirico after his performance, Rippon offered some hilarious quotes.

Last week, Pence tweeted his support for Rippon, saying "I want you to know we are FOR YOU. It's gotten me through a lot of challenging times and if I didn't have a sense of humor I wouldn't be where I am now".

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"You know, I've worked my entire life for this moment". Coming into the Olympics, Rippon was critical of Pence's poor record on gay rights, which led to Pence, who attended the opening ceremony, tweeting him not to believe "fake news". "But more than that, my mom has always taught me to stand up for what I believe in, and that has given my skating a greater goal", Rippon said. "And I kept it together". I got to where I am for working really hard. I thought maybe they'd have like Olympic rings on them or they'd be all different colors, but, no. "I think it's giving my skating a greater objective". I've gotten so many messages, young kids, all over the country, that my story has resonated with them and it's incredibly powerful, this platform you can have at the Olympic Games.

In keeping with his comments, when the vice presidential office reached out to Rippon to set up a sit-down meeting at the Olympics with Pence, in order to clear the air, he did not accept the offer, Washinton Examiner reported.

"I talked to you about how I felt before the Games".

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"It's the same now as it was in my day, and I think it's all figure skaters", Boitano said.

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