Everyone’s celebrating Adam Rippon’s success at the 2018 Winter Olympics, even Elmo!
The 28-year-old figure skater, who became the first openly gay athlete from Team USA to qualify for the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earned a bronze medal in the men’s individual with a stunning performance to Coldplay’s O.
His performance earned praise from many in the sports and entertainment industry, but now he’s earned the ultimate form of approval with a message of congratulations from Sesame Street’s mascot Elmo.
“When Elmo sees Elmo’s friend Adam Rippon doing great in the Olympics!” the puppet wrote alongside a gif of the two dancing side-by-side on Twitter.
“Elmo is so proud of you! #Elmotivation”
When Elmo sees Elmo’s friend @Adaripp doing GREAT in the Olympics!
— Elmo (@elmo) February 12, 2018
The gif comes from a Sesame Street video in which Elmo and the Cookie Monster talk to Olympic athletes about their respective sports.
“Figure skating is where you wear ice skates and I like to go as fast as I can and do spins and jumps,” Adam explains to Elmo in the video.
As the first openly gay male athletes from Team USA to make it to the Winter Olympics, figure skater Adam and freeskier Gus Kenworthy are helping to fly the flag for the LGBTQ community in turbulent times.
During the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea over the weekend, both Gus and Adam posed for a series of cute photos together which were later shared on social media.
“The Opening Ceremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way!” Gus wrote on Instagram.
“I feel incredibly honoured to be here in Korea competing for the US and I’m so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy.”
But he couldn’t end the post without making a sly dig at notoriously anti-gay Vice President Mike Pence.
“Eat your heart out, Pence,” he added.
The #OpeningCeremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way! I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I'm so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence. #TeamUSA #TeamUSGay ????????????️????
Considering his terrible track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights, it’s more than understandable that some of the openly gay athletes competing at the Winter Olympics were less than impressed by Mike Pence’s role as leader of the US delegation.
Adam – who became the first ever openly gay man from the United States to qualify for the Winter Olympics earlier this year – had some choice words about Donald Trump’s second in command during a recent interview.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon said to USA Today.
“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick.
“I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.”
Rippon added: “I don’t think he has a real concept of reality. To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory.”