Adam Rippon Adds to Star Status With HRC Honor

Adam Rippon - Getty - H 2018
Mike Coppola/VF18/Getty Images for VF

The first openly gay male figure skater to compete in the Olympics has been selected to receive the Visibility Award at Saturday night's HRC Los Angeles Dinner.

Adam Rippon won a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and has followed it up with a gold medal-worthy PR blitz after landing back in the United States. The figure skater proved to be a breakout star of the games thanks to charismatic interviews with people like NBC's Andrea Joyce and a series of witty, and often sharp-tongued tweets, some of which were directed at Vice President Mike Pence.  

And he did all of this while making history as the first openly gay U.S. American male figure skater to compete in the Olympic games, a feat that piqued the interest (and support) of the Human Rights Campaign, which has selected the 28-year-old to receive (what else?) — a Visibility Award.

On March 10, Rippon will take share the stage at the HRC Los Angeles Dinner with speakers and special guests, including out gay Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, Representatives Maxine Waters and Kyrsten Sinema; Teri Polo and Sherri Saum from The Fosters; Josh Duhamel from the film Love, Simon; Grammy Award-winning rock band Portugal. The Man; and others. More than 1,000 of HRC’s most active members and supporters are expected to attend the event, which will take place at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live. 

In making the announcement, HRC president Chad Griffin came up with one word to best describe the skater: fierce. “By being out and proud, Adam is bringing LGBTQ visibility to a whole new level while capturing the hearts of millions around the world with his incredible talent and personality," Griffin added. "He isn’t afraid to use his global platform to speak out for equality, and we are proud to honor him with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2018 HRC Los Angeles Dinner.”

In an exclusive interview with HRC, seen below, Rippon said that he had a few hesitations prior to coming out, "but at the end of the day, I felt like it was important, and it was an opportunity to shine a light on a subject that was bigger than me. I know when I was coming out I drew strength from learning about other people’s stories and hopefully my story will do the same for others.”

Rippon has shown his reach after returning from the Olympics, nearly reaching ubiquitous status with appearances at the 90th Academy Awards, the legendary Vanity Fair Oscar Party, the premiere of NBC's The Rise, as well as appearances on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Watch What Happens Live. Speaking of visibility, there are rumors that he could be among the castmembers on the next season of Dancing With the Stars.