Earlier today, it was announced that the figure skater, who has become a prominent highlight of these Games, was going to have his hand at commentary. However, he has decided to turn down the offer after he realized he would have to give up his Olympic standing and credential for the position. By joining NBC as a correspondent, he wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the closing ceremony.
“I am so flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent, but if I took this opportunity, I would have to leave the Olympic team and I would have to leave the (Olympic) Village,” he said in an initial interview with NBCSN (via USA Today). “It’s so important to me, you know, I worked so hard to be on this Olympic team, and my teammates and my friends were there for me during my events, and that meant so much to me, that I really feel like I need to be there for them during their events.”
Rippon then took to Twitter to reiterate the news saying, “I actually found everything out about the offer via twitter… 2018 is wild girl.”
PREVIOUS: Men’s figure skater Adam Rippon, the openly gay bronze medalist who has kept up one of the highest profiles at the Winter Olympics, will be a correspondent for NBC for the remainder of the games.
Rippon will be featured on television, digital platforms and social media, according to NBC spokesman Greg Hughes, who spoke to USA Today about the move.
The outspoken Rippon first made news when he criticized Vice President Mike Pence in mid-January. Pence fired back, leading to Rippon’s rise as a gay youth spokesperson. Rippon, along with skier Lindsey Vonn, have declared they will not join other US athletes at the White House in a post-Olympic celebration.
NBC’s Rippon announcement was one of its few bright moments, as broadcasting gaffes continue to mount in its coverage.
Sports analyst Dan Hicks was the most recent victim, declaring the wrong winner of Friday’s women’s Super-G ski event.
Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic beat Austria’s Anna Veith in the competition for the gold medal, nipping Veith with a stunning run as the last skier down the hill in the event. Ledecka was ranked No. 43 in the world and given no chance to beat Veith.
Rather than wait for the results, Hicks declared, “Four straight Olympic golds in the women’s super G for the skiing powerhouse of Austria. I just about can’t believe it!” NBC then cut away, and never really admitted its wrong call. Yesterday, Hicks and fellow sportscaster Bode Miller gave a weak explanation.
“In everyone’s opinion, the race was over. It was one of the most incredible upsets I’ve seen in any sport,” said Miller. Hicks claimed that even Ledecka couldn’t believe she had won. “Neither could we,” he said.
Miller also raised some hackles earlier in the week when he declared that Veith was struggling not only because of a knee injury, but because of her marriage. Veith married after winning the Giant Slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“The knee is certainly an issue,” Miller said. “I want to point out, she also got married. It’s historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married. You know, not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there that it might be her husband’s fault.”
Miller apologized after social media responded, calling his remarks, “an ill-advised attempt at a joke.”
Hockey analyst Mike Milbury also drew online ire. Working the U.S.-Russia hockey game, Milbury said Slava Voynov’s explusion from the NHL for kicking and choking his wife was “an unfortunate incident” that hurt his team, the Los Angeles Kings.
After the online eruption at the insensitive remarks, Milbury said he meant to provide the impact of the incident on hockey after fellow announcer Kenny Albert talked about the domestic violence charges.
“As I said at the time he was suspended, the league made the right call, 100 percent,” he said.