The former Olympic figure skater still has his eye on the prize.
Adam Rippon has had a whirlwind year. After nabbing a bronze medal for Team America at the Olympics, Rippon took his talents to Dancing With the Stars, where he earned another trophy as the series winner. Now he's teaming up with Moët to craft a singular cocktail that captures his bubbly personality.
This summer, you've teamed up with Moët to craft a special summer cocktail that embodies your personality. Tell me about yours.
ADAM RIPPON: When I was competing, I didn’t really go out very often but I always loved to have a celebratory glass of champagne. I’ve always loved Moet and it’s always been my favorite champagne. When they came to me and told me about this ice champagne, I thought it was the perfect collaboration. This is the first champagne that is made to be served over ice and I have a connection with the ice. I feel like it’s the perfect marriage of two ice things. The champagne is refreshing and I always like to have it as cold as possible which is why I love this. It is made to have ice in it and I would be lying if I didn’t try to put ice in it before. This is something that is made for me.
I remember the huge media spectacle surrounding you at the Olympics. There are a lot of athletes that become famous and then enter obscurity. Was there ever a fear of that happening?
AR: Of course, but the moment that I will never forget is standing at the Olympics podium and seeing the flag. This is a moment that so many of my friends who are medalists tell me about. It’s the moment that they are waiting their entire lives for. When I was standing there, I realized that the moment that I had been waiting my entire life for was getting to meet the world. Being able to entertain and make people laugh is something that I have always done and enjoy doing with my friends. However, when I got to do it with so many other people, I realized that this is what I am meant to do my entire life. It felt like serendipity.
I remember you had narrowly missed the Olympics before. Had you felt that you would be overlooked?
AR: I think before I did not really know who I was. I think when I started to learn more about who I was, I became a more confident competitor. There were no politics in me not going to the 2010 or 2014 Olympics. I just was not good enough and I really had a lot of work to do. I felt like the timing had to be right then. When I took the pressure off of myself and really did a lot of work on myself, that’s when I was finally ready. I was finally ready at 28 and I was at the Olympics with individuals who were 17 or 18. It may have taken me longer, but I feel like I was much further along than the rest of them.
Muddle blueberries, add mixture of 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, 1 ounce vodka, 1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur into to shaker. Shake vigorously, then strain into a wine glass with fresh ice cubes. Top with 3 ounces of Moët Ice Impérial. Garnish with berries and a lavender sprig.
When you say you did the work, are you referring to finding who you were, being gay?
AR: When I decided to come out personally I was 21 and then when I came out publicly I was 25. I think that I would go into training sessions and competitions and I was already sharing my life with everyone so it was sort of a take it or leave it moment but I like who I am. I knew I worked hard. I had nothing to hide. I felt smart, worthy and powerful. I think when you’re in the closet a lot of your worries are what do people know about me that they think that I am hiding. I felt incredibly confident and it was not an overnight thing. I am most grateful to have gone to the Olympics at an older age.
I know you have a brand new YouTube channel and one of your latest videos was about coming out. There are some people who never have that opportunity. Can you talk to me about that
AR: Right. I wanted to have this conversation because I remember watching YouTube videos about people coming out. I remember reading their stories. They made me feel like everything was going to be okay, life goes on, and it’s not that big of a deal. There will be people in my life that it will mean so little to and it’s more than just that one thing. It felt like full circle to post and talk about something like that. I think that there are so many things on social media. One of the best things about social media is the chance to get to talk about important topics and that we get to share experiences. We all see ourselves in each other sometimes and it makes everything a little bit easier.
Where would you like to be in five to ten years?
AR: I would like to be more settled into a career in the entertainment world. I would love to do more things in the comedy space. It’s a place that I always felt at home in. I want to interact with people. I don’t know exactly where my journey is going to take me but I like to gain more success. I keep myself in that mindset that there’s more out there for me and to keep working hard in the same way that I worked hard as an athlete. As an athlete I have always loved getting a trophy or an award, so I would love to be in a project where I could possibly win an Emmy for a show that I could work on. I am always going to be working towards something and making something the best that I can make it.
Since it's pride month, are there places that you will be hanging out here in New York? Where will you be celebrating?
AR: I am not a big partier so I don’t really go out to clubs but I do love a good meal and a cocktail. My favorite place to eat at is the Nomad Hotel on Broadway and 28th. I know Sweet Green is everywhere but it is my favorite salad place on the go. I love to go to Mama in K-Town right off Broadway and 31st or 32nd. It is my favorite Korean BBQ place. I love to go out to dinner where the food is good.
Photography by Benjamin Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon