Figure skater Adam Rippon insists he has no interest in “picking a fight” with Vice President Mike Pence, who has been chosen by the White House to lead the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics.
Rippon, who is openly gay, criticized Pence’s role in the Pyeongchang Games during an interview with USA Today . Pence is considered an opponent of the LGBT community after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as Indiana governor. Critics contend it encourages discrimination against gay people.
Rippon’s remarks about Pence drew a sharp rebuke from his press secretary. Alyssa Farah called some of the statements “totally false” with “no basis in fact.”
Rippon said during a conference call Monday the quick response surprised him, but he was glad his concerns as an athlete and citizen had been heard.