Adam Rippon will likely have plenty of endorsement opportunities after he became one of the breakout stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics, but a partnership with McDonald’s seems unlikely.
Rippon, who won a bronze medal in figure skating in PyeongChang, said on Saturday that he hit the free McDonald’s at the Olympics a bit too hard. The 28-year-old joked that he is going to beg his trainer for help.
As we learned with his hilarious live interview early on in the Winter Games, Rippon has a great sense of humor. McDonald’s is one of the official sponsors of the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean eating Big Macs for two weeks has any less impact on the greatest athletes in the world. Rippon appears to have learned that the hard way.
The Olympics are a great generator of breakout stars. The athletes generally only gain major attention every four years, meaning new potential stars are coming onto the scene all the time. Even older athletes are finding success in the Olympics after battling obscurity and other obstacles earlier in their careers.
Here are 10 star athletes whose presence at the PyeongChang Olympics have gained them newfound fame and support.
1) Chloe Kim
It takes more than dominance in your sport to become a true Olympic breakout star — you must have a personality, too. Chloe Kim, gold medalist in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, has both in spades. Kim flew to gold in the halfpipe event, then tweeted her way into our hearts with a series of extremely relatable food tweets. That personality should serve her well, and given that she’s just 17 years old, we should be seeing her at future Winter Olympics for years to come.
2) Maddie Rooney
Adam Rippon has become a superstar at the PyeongChang Games, and now he is proving himself to be a self-aware superstar at that.
A Twitter user cracked a joke on Tuesday based around the American figure skater quadrupling his number of followers in the last week.
Rippon himself soon replied, one-upping the tweet with a hilarious self-roast.
For reference, the quad in figure skating (also known as the quadruple) is a difficult jump with four revolutions. Rippon’s refusal to even attempt a quad (either in the team event or in the men’s singles competition) actually became something of a storyline in PyeongChang — though his routine places more of an emphasis on artistic and aesthetic elements rather than challenging jumps.
While his lack of a quad may have played a factor in Rippon’s tenth-place finish in singles, he still took home a bronze medal with the U.S. as part of the team competition. That combined with his newfound viral stardom is more than enough to give Rippon the confidence to poke fun at himself on occasion.
U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon is quite obviously a big fan of Valentine’s Day, and so are his fans.
Rippon took to Instagram to share a hilarious fan valentine that he turned around and passed on the sentiments to his own followers.
It’s the crown that makes it what it is, frankly, though the rainbow wings are a close second.
Rippon has definitely set himself apart as one of the game’s biggest personalities, as his outspoken views and hilarious interviews have made headlines. He makes for a good bit of elaborate Valentine fan art as well.
Adam Rippon put together one hilarious interview after making his Olympics debut.
The American figure skater performed in the team event and received a score of 172.98. During an interview with NBC’s Mike Tirico after his performance, Rippon offered some hilarious quotes.
The best came when he was asked about what’s going through his mind while he’s on the ice. 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. And I kept it together.”
That wasn’t Rippon’s only funny quote. Another one came when he was asked about his teammates.
“This might be my first Olympics, but it’s not my first rodeo,” Rippon said.
Rippon is openly gay and has been involved in a public debate with even Vice President Mike Pence. Tirico asked him how that affects his focus. Rippon gave a great answer.
“I’ve worked my entire life for this moment. But more than that, my mom always taught me to stand up for what I believe in. And that’s sort of given my skating a greater purpose,” Rippon said. “So I go out there and I’m not only representing myself; I’m representing my coaches, I’m representing my county, I’m representing my teammates. And I remember that. And that’s how I stay focused.”
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are underway, and it’s time to familiarize yourself with some U.S. athletes you need to root for. Here’s a look at 15 of the most important U.S. athletes competing at the Winter Games and what they hope (and many believe) they can accomplish.
15. Kelly Clark, snowboarder
34-year-old Kelly Clark is no stranger to Olympic competition, having competed in every single Winter Games since 2002. She won halfpipe gold in 2002 and then brought home bronze in the same event in both 2010 and 2014. Clark is also a one-time Winter Dew Tour gold medalist, one-time New Zealand Winter Games gold medalist ,and a five-time Winter X Games gold medalist. Her wealth of experience not only puts her ahead of the competition, but becomes exceptionally valuable for Team USA as a whole.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to represent my country to the rest of the world, to represent snowboarding and women, it’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life,” Clark told PEOPLE. “And it’s really fun as an athlete because you work four years for a 30-second halfpipe run, so you really get to see what you built. It’s really a rubber-meets-the-road type of situation.”
14. Bradie Tennell, figure skater