Adam Rippon opens the possibility of meeting with Vice President Mike Pence

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) – American figure skater Adam Rippon says he doesn’t want his team to be distracted by his animosity toward Mike Pence over the U.S. vice president’s conservative stance on gay rights.

The openly gay Rippon criticized the White House last month for choosing Pence to lead the official U.S. delegation for Friday’s opening ceremony. Pence has been considered an opponent of the LGBT community after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as governor of Indiana.

Critics say the legislation encourages discrimination against gay people.

Rippon said after practice Thursday that he would be open to speaking with Pence after the games.

The figure skating program begins Friday with the men’s and pairs short programs in the team competition. Rippon is due on the ice Monday, when he tackles the men’s free skate for Team USA.

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