What’s better than winning a medal at an Olympic Games? Doing it with one of your best friends!
“We’re roommates here, staying at the Olympic Village,” Rippon, 28, told NBC Olympics. “We gave each other a hug and I said, ‘You know, Mirai, we’re here! We did it!’ “
Nagasu, 24, made history on Monday when she became the very first American female to land a triple axel at the Olympics.
“I love my girl and so proud of her tonight,” Rippon said of Nagasu’s performance. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life, then to see my friend go out there and skate like that is even better.”
Meanwhile, Rippon captured the internet’s heart thanks to his attention-grabbing free skate in the figure skating team event.
The two have become fan-favorites at the Games, with Nagasu drawing kudos from figure skating icons, and Rippon striking internet fame. But just four years ago, the friends found themselves in tears after they narrowly missed an opportunity to participate in the 2014 Sochi Games.
“Four years ago, we got In-N-Out [Burger]. We went back to her house,” Rippon recalled to NBC. “We climbed up to the roof of her house and we were eating In-N-Out because we were so upset that we weren’t at the Olympic Games.”
The athletes sported wide smiles as they appeared on NBC with the medal. In a gif, Nagasu and Rippon are shown gushing over the win. Nagasu quote tweeted the post on to her account, writing, “Omg we need a new emoji for whatever I’m doing.”
The pair also share a celebrity fan: Reese Witherspoon. The Oscar-winning star called Rippon “Reason #1” to watch the Olympics, just before the Games kicked off last week. Rippon playfully noted that “I want to make Reese Wtherspoon proud” in an interview after his skate. She responded Monday morning to confirm that he indeed makes her “so proud.”
The actress also traded tweets with Nagasu after the skater landed her history-making jump Sunday night, calling her “MY hero !!” after Nagasu noted that she watched the Witherspoon flick Home Again on the way to the Olympics. “I know it’s a movie but I wished you were my mom. You’re my hero.”
The friends appear to have been enjoying their Olympics stint from the start. Just before Team USA marched out into the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, Rippon was shown planting a kiss on Nagasu’s cheek in a Snapchat video.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.