The Hourglass

Figure Skating Sensations Rippon and Tennell are Going Beyond the Gold

Emma Bradley '18, Staff Writer

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Originally featured in the March 2018 Edition

The Winter Olympics held in South Korea dominated the television channels for several weeks, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on February 9, 2018. From curling to figure skating to ski jumping or snowboarding, each event was filled with the most qualified and accomplished athletes in the world, some of whom were extremely talented for their young age. Records were broken with a handful of “firsts” for athletes across all sports, making their countries proud and putting a smile on the faces of coaches and teammates alike.
However, some of these athletes excel in areas far beyond their athletic talent. Many athletes not only use their public platform to display the progression of their sports journey, but also use their fan base to raise awareness and bring about positive change to their country and the world. Inspiring fans across the world and breaking barriers within their sport and everyday lives, these athletes clearly displayed they have what it takes to conquer the sports arena within which they compete and push themselves to become not just better athletes but better people.
Men’s figure skater Adam Rippon, representing the United States, was the first openly homosexual American athlete to win a medal at the Winter Games. Rippon inspired his fans to be unapologetically themselves, on and off the ice. Rippon started the sport at ten years old because his mother skated and she would bring him to the rink. From working tirelessly over the years to accomplish his dream at the Winter Olympics, Rippon earned a bronze medal in the figure skating team event. His technique was admirable, as was his unwavering commitment and dedication to the sport he loves.
Some prominent awards Rippon gladly received throughout his career include being awarded the silver medal at the 2005 United States Championship and the gold medal at the Harghita Cup in Romania. His groundbreaking contributions to figure skating, as well as the world around him, show Rippon to be one to admire. His spot on the United States Winter Olympics Male Figure Skating Team was well deserved, and it is exciting to anticipate his future accomplishments. (
Twenty-year old Women’s figure skater and new “American Sweetheart” Bradie Tennell went into the Winter Olympics as the crowd favorite and proved worthy of her fan-awarded title. This phenomenal Olympian started skating at the age of two in 2000. In 2013, she won a novice bronze medal at the United States Women’s Figure Skating Championship, and the following year she was moved up to the junior level, in which she received fourth place at the Championship. Tennell is the 2018 United States National Champion and took the bronze medal in the Figure Skating team event of the Winter Olympics. This strong athlete representing the United States in the Winter Games is the up-and-coming jewel of Figure Skating. (
Adam Rippon and Bradie Tennell are two different, yet equally inspirational athletes. The way Rippon uses his platform to spread a positive message is admirable, and Tennell’s focus, tenacity, and insistence on excellence in her sport make her an exemplary role model to all aspiring athletes. Through their constant commitment and dedication to skating, Tennell and Rippon are the ones on whom to keep our eyes.

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Figure Skating Sensations Rippon and Tennell are Going Beyond the Gold