Staff Writer Jax Gay
Olympian Adam Rippon has delivered an inspiring speech directed at LGBTQ+ youth who he insisted could “change the world”.
The American figure skater has accepted the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award at a gala in Los Angeles, following his recent Winter Olympics triumph where he became the first gay American Olympian to win a medal.
Rippon’s speech was an inspiring call-to-action for the next generation, peppered with the sports star’s typical mixture of frankness and candour.
Speaking about setting a new standard for LGBTQ+ sports, Adam explained: “I made the choice to be unafraid… to not care who I was… I was going to be truly me.”
“This was the biggest and most important decision I have ever made. To live fearlessly, to take risks, to let go of my fear, and to always keep learning. You will find you will have your greatest success when you wear your scars proudly”.
“Throughout my life I have fallen short many times. I have felt depressed, I have felt not good enough… I was living life afraid”.
“I remember asking myself: what would I do differently?”
Adam surmised: “I have learned that a champion is more than a medal, it’s a mindset.”
His message to the next generation was: “Whether you are gay, straight, bi, trans or still on a journey of self-discovery… You are smarter than you think. You hold more strength than you may ever know, you are powerful, no matter where you have come from or where you are going to there is someone who looks up to you and they will find inspiration in your strength…”
“Be a role model and never forget that you can be someone’s champion”.
“When we come together we change the world”.
Since the Olympics Adam has become known for proudly speaking out, and has become a figurehead of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Olympian provocatively wore a harness designed by Moschino to the Oscars.
The 28-year-old explained his outfit on Twitter: “I think fashion is all about self expression and I chose to wear what I wore on the red carpet because I felt cool AF.
“Everyone should take risks, be bold, and not give a 💩. It’s LOTS of fun”.