Figure skater Adam Rippon, who helped the United States to a team bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics, discussed his recently released memoir, “Beautiful on the Outside,” Friday evening at the Wilbur Theatre.
Rippon was candid and honest, and he even entrusted his audience with a secret. That’s how the book reads, too, as it details the challenges he faced during his rise to elite figure skater, coming out first to his family then the world, the role of his amazing mother, and finally realizing an Olympic dream at age 28. He said he tried to make sure his voice came through in the book by reading passages out loud after writing them to make sure they sounded as though he were speaking directly to his audience.
Now almost 30 (he’ll be the first to tell you his birthday is Nov. 11), Rippon has retired from competitive skating and is on a whirlwind book tour. He relishes his role as an advocate for equality and gay rights and is aware of the impact he’s had by speaking up, most notably just before the Olympics. He is proud that he walked beside Gus Kenworthy, another openly gay American athlete, at the opening ceremony in PyeongChang.
Rippon recalled previous visits to Boston, where he found success in the 2016 World Championships and disappointment at the 2014 US National Championships, and answered questions from the audience. One response was particularly touching as he advised a young aspiring skater on how to channel nerves and anxiety before competition into positive energy.