Has Any 10th Place Finisher Ever Gotten Media Love Like Adam Rippon?

There’s a huge difference between being entitled to respect for your achievements and what NBC has handed to Rippon.

He finished 10th? As in, behind 9 other skaters? Seriously?

Look, to be an Olympian is an incredible feat and something that is worthy of anyone’s respect. But there’s a monumental difference between being entitled to respect for your achievements and what NBC has handed to U.S. Figure Skater Adam Rippon during their coverage of these disappointing Olympics.

He’s been everywhere. He’s been interviewed, re-interviewed, featured, promoted, and his presence has overshadowed every other Olympian on the squad thanks to the fawning coverage. For awhile I passed this off as the standard bias of figure skating in the Winter Olympics. There’s nothing I despise more than watching the luge finals or the ski jump finals and having the coverage cut away to figure skating warm-ups.

I just assumed Rippon was our best skater and since there’s a natural bias every four years towards those who perform triple sow-cows and camel spins, that’s what was going on. Then I found out he wasn’t our best. Not close. And he wasn’t close to the world’s best. There are nine others better, in fact. Not to mention there are other American athletes in these games that are better at their sports than Rippon is at his.

Is it the Michael Sam phenomenon? You remember Michael Sam, the 249th out of 256 players drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. He had an ESPN film crew stationed at his house on draft night – something top first rounders don’t even get – and received inordinate amounts of publicity throughout his short NFL career. Why? For no reason other than he was gay.

Same story with Jason Collins. Towards the end of his rather mundane, unspectacular NBA career (again, playing in the NBA at all is quite an accomplishment), Jason Collins was likely to be overlooked by teams searching for someone with more talent and ability. Collins bought an insurance policy by coming out of the closet, generating tons of media attention as the NBA’s first openly gay player, and sweetening the deal (free publicity and style points for progressive tolerance) for teams to sign him. Collins’ retired a year later.

So was it that? Was all the attention heaped on Rippon simply because he was gay? Maybe that plays a part, but remember that Canadian pairs skater Eric Radford is openly gay and received nowhere near the attention of Rippon. True, he is from Canada, but he also won a gold medal. And there are other gay American Olympians who are no worse in their sport than Rippon is in his. But they didn’t get hired immediately as their competition ended to be a commentator on NBC.

And they don’t get absurdly toadying headlines like:

  • “Self-proclaimed ‘icon’ Adam Rippon takes final Olympic skate” – Chicago Tribune
  • “Winter Olympics 2018: Adam Rippon Stole Everybody’s Hearts” – Time
  • “Adam Rippon Looks Back on His ‘Dream Olympic Games’” – Vanity Fair

And they didn’t get spotlights in the USA Today to say self-centered things like this:

“I have gotten a lot of attention just for being myself,” he said. “A lot of people when they come to a competition are afraid to be themselves, no matter who they are. One thing I want to come with from this competition — I am not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart. I am just America’s sweetheart and just an icon. If you have a personality like mine it’s for everybody.”

And they don’t have sitting members of the United States Senate like Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey falling all over themselves like this:

“[Adam Rippon] your infectious spirit and positive attitude have been an inspiration.”

Huh? Positive attitude? Wasn’t this the guy who exhibited an off-putting juvenility when the Vice President of the United States offered him well-wishes and said he was proud of him?

Wasn’t this the guy who said, “I don’t want my Olympic experience being about Mike Pence” all while talking about Mike Pence at every opportunity?

Wasn’t this the guy who played into a non-existent feud with Pence simply for the headlines? After all, while Rippon has made it clear he despises a man he hasn’t met, and actually refuses to meet, there’s no indication that Pence harbors any hostility in his heart for Rippon.

How is that kind of hateful conduct regarded as an “infectious spirit and positive attitude?” It sounds more like partisan, ideological posturing, and a refusal to choose unity and brotherhood over your martyr complex.

Actually, I think we just figured out the mainstream media obsession with the 10th place skater. He hates the right person. How sad.

I am an Olympic junkie, but I generally fastforward over the skating. Because the American TV coverage overdoes figure skating in relation to the other sports, I find it rather uninteresting. Outside of when they fall, I have a hard time noticing the difference between the 1st place and 12th place. I generally dislike any commentator, news or sports, that elevates themselves above the competition. Johnny Weir, and Lipinski to a much lesser degree, make the focus on them (starting with the ridiculous outfits that look like they stepped off of a Hunger Games set) instead of the event. I really don't want to watch anyone "warm up", not when there are so many other quality sports to cover in a 3 hour primetime broadcast.

Rippon has a multitude of factors that make the coverage of him far outpace the achievements. He is gay to start with and wants to make sure everyone knows it. He picks political fights with the right people for no reason other than to elevate himself. He exhibits an over-the-top personality that is prone to give them sound-bites (like the Xanax and a drink comment). He generates a story above the sport, which they like for some reason. I would rather just watch the sports, but they think if they can't get a few Lifetime movie themes in there, it is a failure.

The media always latches onto a few people that they plan to take beyond the two weeks of the games. Sometimes it is because they are gorgeous, like Lindsay Vonn, and Mikaela Shiffrin, who are both excellent at their craft and gold medal winners, Lolo Jones (she has won championships too), etc. Sometimes it is because their excellence at their sport demands it, like Shaun White, Michael Phelps and Apolo Ohno. Others have success and an interesting personality like Bodie Miller that gets the media fascinated.

I will agree with that and I thought it was ridiculous. If one person in the group had one (like I have seen with some college and state flags), it would have been different. By looking at his group, you would have thought he was competing for the Gay Nation that flies a rainbow flag. Who cares what you do at home and why is it is necessary to tell everyone about it? That is what I don't understand. Kenworthy is a silver medalist in the event and won his place on the team and in the competition by skill. What he does in the privacy of his home is something I don't want to know about and don't care about. But instead, the media and his crew, want to bring it up and rub everyone's faces in it.

Good thing he isn't a NorK, the media fawning would have increased exponentially.


I wonder how Ross Miner would have done.

@ meh130
Good point.
Ross Miner finished 2nd at Nationals, & earned a spot on the Olympic Team. He was passed over, for Adam Rippon, who finished 4th.

Tis the season for the Joy Behar Syndrome...

I would be interested to know how much the SJW agenda has infiltrated U.S. Olympic sports. I read several articles about the diversity on the U.S. team, which is fine as long as it is earned. When the focus gets off of sending the best and most deserving athletes to the Olympics, into what the racial or sexual preference make-up of the athletes are, we are making a big mistake. I wonder if they are tailoring the development programs to try and achieve a "diverse" crowd instead of finding and developing the best athletes. I don't know that, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if that was the case. If you look at the medal count, a lot has been made about Norway. They are performing about the same as always. It is the U.S. that has tanked in overall performance. The U.S. typically wins 25 to 30 medals at the Winter Olympics, finishing in the top 2 or 3 every cycle. So far with over half the medals awarded, the U.S. has 12 and is sitting in 7th place. That is also taking into account the number of events that have been added this Olympics and in the previous ones. One impact is that the U.S. is not as dominant in the X-Games sports as we were a few years ago, slopestyle, halfpipe, etc. We were sweeping the podiums in some of these events that inflated the medal count. It seems to me that other countries have just caught up, more so that the U.S. isn't as good. We don't have any dominant speed skaters, short or long track, as we have had for the last several Olympics. It may be just a down year or a sign of larger issues within the U.S. Olympic team and development programs.

"...remember that Canadian pairs skater Eric Radford is openly gay and received nowhere near the attention of Rippon."
Ah, but Canada has been "conquered" by the LGBTQrstuvwxyz and the US remains a at least a partial holdout from that wholehearted societal acceptance. So gotta keep pushing until they get whatever it is they are seeking, and NBC is right there with him... Keep in mind this is part and parcel of the homosexual agenda: