From his fiercely funny social media accounts to his quippy quotes to reporters, the 28-year-old figure skater has become a breakout star since arriving at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang — while also delivering performances on the ice that have surpassed expectations and helped the U.S. earn a bronze medal in the team event.
Read on for some of Rippon’s pithiest quotes at the Olympics — so far:
On Crediting Reese Witherspoon for His Victory More Than His Mom
“I owe this medal a lot to [Reese Witherspoon] and to my mom. But, like, more to Reese in a way, ya know? Because she has more followers on Instagram.”
“There are so many emotions when I step on the ice. I want to represent my country to the best of my abilities. I want to make Reese Witherspoon proud,” he also told NBC.
On ‘Generic’ Condoms
The Pennsylvania native even joked about the “generic” condoms he saw were being distributed in Pyeongchang during the Games on his Instagram Story this past weekend.
“Like, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I thought maybe they’d have like Olympic rings on them or they’d be all different colors, but, no. It’s all a myth,” he said. “And I’m not, like, upset. I’m disappointed.”
On Being Single on Valentine’s Day
“Nobody loves me as much as I love me; so I guess I’ll just be my own Valentine tomorrow,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday — which was ahead of his first singles competition on Thursday night.
On His Newfound Fame
“The other day I was joking to one of my friends. He was like, ‘You’re kind of everywhere right now.’ I was like, ‘I know; I’m America’s sweetheart.’ He laughed in my face,” he also said at the press conference.
On How Eating In-N-Out Burger Can Change Your Life
“To watch Mirai Nagasu go out there and also skate a clean free skate… I mean, we’ve really been through a lot together. Four years ago, we were eating In-N-Out on the roof of her house in Arcadia, California, and we were crying that we weren’t at the Olympics,” he told NBC after Nagasu landed her historic triple axel. “And four years later, we’re sharing an Olympic podium together. So, if you’re ever depressed, go to In-N-Out, and four years later you’ll be at the Olympics!”
On How Excited He Is to Be at the Olympics — Using a Pop Culture Scale
“On the spectrum, from Reese Witherspoon to Elmo, I’m, like, excited at, like, a Meryl Streep,” he told NBC.
On How Oprah Helped Inspire Him to Live His Best Life
“Sometimes when you’re not confident in yourself, to see someone who doesn’t care — and I don’t care anymore; I really don’t care — it gives you that confidence. I remember seeing people who I thought were so confident and exuberant. I remember being young and watching Oprah and being like, ‘Damn. That lady is so confident. She can talk to anybody.’ ”
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On Finding Success as an Older Olympian
“I can’t explain witchcraft. I just feel like I’m coming into my own. I’m confident in who I am and what I’m doing. I’m just having a great time.”
“People have told me, ‘Oh, you’re a lot different than what I thought.’ I say, ‘Oh, what did you think?’ They’re like, ‘Oh, we just thought you were an assh—.’ I’m like, ‘Oh … yikes.’ I’m just trying to share who I am, my personality … Sometimes I might meet people and they might just not like me, not want to get to know me. And that’s okay. They’re boring as hell anyway.”
On His (Fabulous) Eyebrows
“One time, somebody said, ‘You talk a lot about your eyebrows’ —and first of all, throughout this whole process I’ve never talked about being gay or my eyebrows so much in my entire life,” he told Hoda Kotb and Savanna Guthrie during a Monday appearance on the TODAY show.
“Somebody was like … ‘Are you saying that I don’t have nice eyebrows? And I wrote back and I was like, ‘It sounds like you aren’t too secure in your own eyebrows.’ ”
On Celebrating on the Ice After His Successful Short Program in the Men’s Competition
“It was a little chilly,” he said, “but also everyone else in the competition’s 18, so I just needed like one minute to like catch my breath. The rest of the kids, they’ll be fine. But I just needed a second, and it was just great.”
On Who Has Had a Better PyeongChang Olympics Than Him
“Maybe somebody who actually won them?” he told Kotb and Guthrie. “I feel like I won them, but I didn’t … I’m a winner, but I didn’t win.”
Hungry for more? Here are just a few of our favorite tweets from the social media master:
The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.