Rippon won a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics and was one of the first openly gay men to compete on Team USA

By Adam Carlson
July 13, 2020 11:52 AM
Advertisement

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon couldn't help but choke up during an appearance on an upcoming episode of ABC's hidden-camera series What Would You Do?

Rippon, who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics and was one of the first openly gay men to compete on Team USA, will appear on Tuesday's episode of the ABC show, exclusively previewed above.

In his segment, Rippon watches as a student athlete at breakfast with his coach comes out as gay but then receives some pushback from the coach, who worries about the student's career chances.

Afterward, a nearby patron speaks up to support the teen. (Both the student and coach were actors, but the other diner was a real person unaware she was being filmed.)

"Things are different now in this world," the woman tells the student, encouraging him.

Rippon, watching behind the scenes, gets emotional — even teary, according to host John Quiñones.

adam-rippon2.jpg
Adam Rippon

"Oh my god that’s so crazy. That’s so cool to see," Rippon, 30, tells Quiñones, adding: "She didn’t need to say anything and she wasn’t prompted to say anything and she was just so kind to the both of them."

Later, he goes into the restaurant to meet the customer who spoke up.

"The world is changing but it ’s really people — I could even get emotions talking — it’s like people like you," he tells her (before complimenting her "high ponytail" with characteristic humor).

After bursting into the Olympics spotlight in early 2018, Rippon was named one of PEOPLE's 100 Reasons to Love America that year. He said then: "If you have clear vision and work really hard, you can do anything."

What Would You Do? airs Tuesday (10 p.m. ET) on ABC.