Adam Rippon Makes History as First Openly Gay Athlete to Be Selected for U.S. Winter Olympics Team

American figure skater Adam Rippon has made the U.S. Olympics team and has made history as the first openly gay athlete to do so, NBC News reports.

According to research conducted by Outsports, an LGBTQ sports website, the 28-year-old figure skater is “the first publicly out gay man ever selected to a Winter Olympics team from any country in any sport.”

Rippon came out in 2015, according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and said that he “started to own who [he was] as a person.”

“I told myself that if I ever had that platform to say anything, I would say something,” Rippon said during an interview with HRC. “I think the more visibility we have as an LGBT community the more normal it becomes for a young kid who lives in a small town like I'm from—I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania. I think that if you can share your story, you bring more normalcy to whatever situation that someone young may be feeling that they’re in.”

Rippon does not shy away from his sexuality, recently writing on Twitter that he was asked what it was like to be a gay athlete in sports.  

“I said that it’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eyebrows,” Rippon wrote.

The talented figure skater is able to execute what many thought was impossible: the “quad lutz,” which is a quadruple spinning jump, NBC News reports.

Rippon said that he was very confident that he would make the U.S. team. During a teleconference at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California last week, Rippon said, “I’ve proven time and time again that I’m one of the most consistent skaters in the world. I’m a leader. I’m ready for this. There is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t be on the Olympic team.”

While the talented figure skater may have been the first openly gay athlete to be selected for the U.S. Winter Olympics team, he may not be the only one at the Olympics, NBC News reports. American skier Gus Kenworthy, according to NBC News, came out after winning his silver medal in the last Winter Olympic games, and is believed to make the U.S. team this year.

Either way, this is big for sports culture, and is helping to break stereotypes.

We wish Adam the best of luck as he represents the U.S. at the Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Go, Team USA!