After winning the hearts of Americans on the ice (and on Twitter), Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon was approached this weekend about joining NBC as a correspondent in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the remainder of the 2018 Winter Games.
It was an offer his team initially accepted, according to one report, only to turn it down soon after when Rippon, who said he first learned about all of this via social media, realized he would have to leave Team USA — something he felt he could not do out of respect for his teammates.
“I am so flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent. But if I took this opportunity, I would have to leave the Olympic team and I’d have to leave the [Olympic] Village,” he told host Liam McHugh on NBC’s sports network on Monday (Sunday night stateside). “And it’s so important to me that — I worked so hard to be on this Olympic team, and my teammates and my friends were there for me during my events and that meant so much to me, that I really feel like I need to be there for them during their events as well.”
NBC spokesman Greg Hughes told USA Today on Sunday that the 28-year-old Rippon, who helped the U.S. bring home a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition, would work on a variety of NBC platforms, including TV, digital and social media.
And soon enough, the NBC Olympics Twitter account was publicizing that Rippon would be fielding questions from users online using an NBC Olympics hashtag. About 14 hours after its initial story, however, USA Today published a new report citing “a person close to the situation” who said Rippon had ultimately decided not to take NBC’s offer.
Rippon addressed the reports on Twitter later Monday, writing in one tweet: “I love being on Team USA and representing our country. My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition. Go Team USA!!!”
He added, “I actually found everything out about the offer via twitter HAHA ]]>😂😂