Winter Olympics 2018: Adam Rippon nailed his debut Olympic performance

Adam Rippon celebrates after competing in the Figure Skating Team Event Men's Single Free Skating (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Olympic ice skater Adam Rippon took a bronze medal for Team USA at the Winter Olympics on Monday morning after giving a spectacular debut performance during a team event.

Skating to Coldplay’s “O” and “Arrival of the Birds” by Cinematic Orchestra, Rippon was awarded a score of 172.98, giving the team an extra eight points.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Canadian skater Patrick Chan took first place, followed by Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada – competing under an international banner.

The team figure skating event amalgamates scores from several different individual skates – and Rippon’s performance along with their others was enough to earn Team USA a bronze medal

Rippon will also compete in a men’s single event later in the competition.

Speaking after his performance, Rippon said:

“I want to throw up. I want to go over to the judges and say, ‘Can I just have a Xanax and a quick drink? I’ll be fine.’ But I kept it together.”

People celebrated his performance online.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Related: Gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy: Anti-LGBT VP Mike Pence is ‘bad fit’ to lead Winter Olympics delegation

One person wrote: “Adam Rippon. An icon, an inspiration, an American hero .”

“i don’t know who adam rippon is but i know that i would give my life for him,” another added.

A third wrote: “You’re incredible.”

Rippon was on the winter Olympic team in 2014 but he didn’t get the chance to compete.

Speaking about working towards the 2018 games, he said that he had “worked my entire life for this moment”.

Adam Rippon of the United States (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“My mom has always taught me to stand up for what I believe in, and that has given my skating a greater purpose.

“So I go out there and I’m not only representing myself, I’m representing my coaches, I’m representing my country and I’m representing my teammates. So I remember that and that’s how I stay focused,” he said.

The 28-year-old hit the headlines last week after he criticised vice president Mike Pence for his anti-LGBT record.

Rippon refused to meet with Pence, who led the US delegation for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Rippon said: “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it.

“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality.

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

“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 okay 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 later hit back at the Olympian via his spokesperson and suggested that Rippon has “misled” the public.

Alyssa Farah, Pence’s press secretary, said: “The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes.

“[Rippon]’s accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

Pence’s support for anti-LGBT laws and gay cure therapy is a matter of public record.

A hardline evangelical who has not supported a single LGBT reform across nearly two decades in politics, VP Pence has one of the worst records on equality of any President or Vice President in recent memory.

Pence previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.