Feature | Figure Skating

What's Adam Rippon up to in retirement?

Olympic team bronze medallist is releasing his memoirs as the new figure skating season gets underway.

By ZK Goh ·

With the new figure skating season about to start, what's Olympic team bronze medallist Adam Rippon up to?

The 29-year-old, who announced his retirement last November, has spent his time since PyeongChang winning Dancing With the Stars, taking a stand for LGBT+ and women's rights as 'America's Sweetheart', and even choreographing training partner Mariah Bell's 2018/19 short program.

So with so much on his plate, is Rippon staying in touch with his figure skating roots?

"Figure skating is something that I do as a passion," he told NBC Sports. "It’s something that I’ll always love. It’s something to keep using my brain in that artistic way."

But the American added that he will not be attending this year's Skate America ISU Grand Prix in Las Vegas.

Adam Rippon exclusive interview with Meryl Davis

PyeongChang 2018 figure skating team medallist and self-proclaimed 'America...

Book tour

Rippon has a good reason for missing the season-opening Grand Prix event though.

His new memoir, Beautiful on the Outside, is released on 15 October – just three days before Skate America, which runs from 18–20 October, begins.

"I’ll be on the beginning of my book tour during Skate America," he said to NBC Sports.

In case it wasn't obvious, the title of the book is, in Rippon's own words, "a play on 'beautiful on the inside is what matters'.

"I think the deeper meaning is that there are so many times in our life where we’re so ashamed, afraid or embarrassed about what’s going on or who we think people might think that we are that we put up this front. We want people just to think that we’re beautiful on the outside – don’t look on the inside.

"There were times in my life where I felt like, “Hey, don’t look. I’m not going to tell you anything about me. Everything’s perfect.” That’s what it means for me. But I did want something that was funny."


Rippon is also continuing his public activism for LGBT+ and women's rights.

The retired skater was recently invited to a US Open Pride panel hosted by tennis journalist Nick McCarvel, alongside basketball player Jason Collins, tennis legend Billie Jean King, Major League Baseball vice-president for social responsibility and inclusion Billy Bean, and others.

"I think it's really great when there can be a crossover between sports," Rippon told USOpen.org.

"One thing I felt at the Olympics, one of the most beautiful parts of it is that you are on Team USA and Team USA includes all of these different sports where you don't really ever cross over into the same event or competition.

"I think when different athletes from different sports can come together and share their story, you realise that the stories all feel very similar. It makes people feel like maybe they aren't that different. It gives them just that little bit of push, saying, 'Hey, if that person can do it, anybody can.'"

YouTube vlogging

Rippon also recently launched his own YouTube channel, on which the new author shares vlogs on his life as well as hosts his own skating-based talk show called Break the Ice.

In it, the Pennsylvania native invites his guests – other YouTubers, inspirational people, friends, and athletes (fellow Team USA winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy has been on the show) – into a rink and onto the ice for a chat.

It's the latest string to Rippon's presenting bow, after the Dancing With the Stars champion appeared the junior version of that show as a judge.

More choreography?

In addition to working on Mariah Bell's short program, Rippon says he also had input into Mae-Berenice Meite's free skate.

"I’m lucky to do so many other things, but, because of that, I don’t have a lot of time to skate. I can’t really commit to helping a lot of people.

"For right now, I’m really doing programs for my friends who I’ve known for a while and who I know will work really hard. I’m really grateful they’ve trusted me."


United States of America
Figure Skating
See More

Number of medals

1 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

1 Olympic Games