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Critic of Pence's LGBTQ Policies, Rippon Reportedly Refuses to Meet with VP

Wednesday Feb 7, 2018

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, who became the first openly gay athlete to represent Team U.S.A. at the Winter Games, has been vocal about his views on the Trump administration and especially about Vice President Mike Pence, who will lead the official U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympic opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Last month, Rippon, 28, made it clear he believes Pence is an opponent of LGBTQ rights after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act while serving as Indiana's governor.

"I don't think he has a real concept of reality," Rippon told USA Today at the time. "To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he's a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he's OK with what's being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called 'shitholes,' I think he should really go to church."

Pence's press secretary called Rippon's claims "totally false" and had "no basis in fact." The athlete later said he has "no interest" in picking a fight with the vice president and is fully focused on competing.

Rippon also said he'd rather not meet Pence during the meet-and-greet between the official delegation and U.S. athletes.

"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 not only to show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick," he told the newspaper. "I wouldn't go out of my way to meet somebody like that."

It looks like Rippon is making good on his word.

In a separate USA Today article published Wednesday, the newspaper cited two anonymous sources and writes Pence "was so concerned about the criticism he received" from the skater "that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two - an offer Rippon turned down."

Both Rippon's agent nor Pence's staff would comment on the matter, USA Today reports.

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