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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Winter Olympics have first openly gay U.S. athlete
2018-01-08

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Figure skater Adam Rippon, 28, has become the first openly gay U.S. athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics—but it didn't happen without some controversy.

Rippon was officially named to the U.S. Winter Olympics figure skating team despite finishing fourth at the U.S. national championships in San Jose, California, on Jan. 6. ( The U.S. Winter Olympic team can only have three representatives in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February. Ross Miner, who finished second Jan. 6, got bumped because Rippon was judged to have better international results. )

Rippon will join national champion Nathan Chen, 18, and third-place skater Vincent Zhou, 17, in South Korea.

Freestyle skiier Gus Kenworthy—who came out in 2015—is expected to join Rippon when the freestyle skiing team is announced Jan. 22, ThinkProgress.org noted. A third openly gay athlete, luger John Fennell, had his hopes dashed when his sled crashed in his final qualifying run last month.


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