Figure skater Adam Rippon has come out publicly as gay in the latest issue of Skating magazine, the official magazine of U.S. figure skating.
"I want to be a relatable example," Rippon said in the article, according the NBC Sports. "And I want to say something to the dad out there who might be concerned that his son is a figure skater. I mean look at me; I'm just a normal son from small-town Pennsylvania. Nothing changed. I'd just like to be a good role model. I've been honest with myself the whole time. I worked hard and loved what I did."
Rippon, 25, won the silver medal at the most recent U.S. nationals, but has yet to make an Olympics. He told the magazine that he considered coming out prior to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, when Russia's anti-gay legislation was worldwide news.
"Of course people are interested in your sexual orientation," he said. "People love rumors. When athletes come out and say that they're gay, it makes it a little more normal and less of a big deal — especially in the athletic community. You have a lot of respect for your fellow athletes for working hard toward a goal. Their sexual orientation takes a backseat to that."
Congratulations to Rippon, who is from the same part of Pennsylvania as me. I will be rooting for him in the upcoming skating season. You can follow him on Twitter.