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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Olympian Medalist and LGTBQ Activist Adam Rippon

Ever since the 2018 Winter Olympics and being the first openly gay male athlete to win a medal in the Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon has become a massive role model. Since winning the medal, Rippon went onto do many other things. Rippon, along with professional dancer, Jenna Johnson, won season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, making Rippon the first openly gay celebrity to win the competition. To think, it hasn’t even been a year and Rippon has already been making a huge positive impact.

Ever since the Winter Olympics and Dancing with the Stars, Rippon has gone on to achieve many great accomplishments. From being an LGTBQ activist, to making the TIME’s 100 Most Influential People List of 2018, Rippon has had quite the year and 2018 isn’t even over!

Recently, Rippon went to the Forbes Under 30 Summit that took place in Boston, MA and CelebMix had the chance to chat with Rippon while he was at the event!

What’s it like knowing that you’ve inspired so many young teens and adults to come out and accept who they are?

It’s been a little crazy and completely surreal. I think I’ve been able to be the person that I am today from a lot of work that I did by myself growing up. I think growing up, I felt uncomfortable being who I was and I felt alone at times and I finally realized that I just needed to be my own best friend, I needed to be my number one cheerleader, because if I couldn’t be my number one cheerleader, nobody else was going to cheer for me. There were times I really felt that I was the only person cheering for me, but there were also times I wasn’t even cheering for myself, so I knew that it was really important for me to be my own biggest fan. I think sometimes people are ashamed to do that, or feel like that’s embarrassing but if you’re not willing to embarrass yourself a little, if you’re not willing to take a risk, if you’re not willing to take a leap of faith, I just gave myself permission to do that.

You recently were announced as one of the TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, what was that like knowing you made that list?

Honestly, that was surreal, out of all the things I’ve been able to do this year, I think that’s one of the craziest things and most incredible thing, winning an Olympic medal was amazing, but really being named one of the TIME’s 100 most influential people was really unreal.

You recently donated your Olympic costume to the Smithsonian, what made you decide to do that?

The Smithsonian reached out to my agent right after the Olympics and I just thought it was a great opportunity to for that costume to live on, instead of just living in my closet. I felt like it was a great way to cap off and put a period on that Olympic experience of letting that go, which I have to tell you was a little traumatizing, cause you sign it away and then it’s their’s and you’re just like “oh… ok!” I mean that was also one of the coolest things I was able to do too.

Ever since competing in the Olympics and experiencing so many cool things, what’s one stand out moment that is the coolest for you?

Olympics is amazing, but I think probably the opportunities that I’ve had to meet so many incredible people, to get to travel literally everyday, to share my story, TIME 100, to be here at Forbes today, it’s all things that I’ve dreamed of doing and I just feel blessed to be able to do them.

The Forbes Under 30 Summit is an annual event that has taken place in Boston, MA for the last three years where thousands of young entrepreneurs, visionaries and disruptors gather to connect and learn how to create businesses. Special guests, such as Logan Paul, Chrissy Teigen, Karlie Kloss, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Phelps, Kendrick Lamar, Adam Rippon, Lauren Jauregui and more have attended to speak and share their advice to the attendees.

To be inspired and to stay up to date with the latest on what Adam Rippon is doing, make sure you follow him on Instagram, @adaripp as well as Twitter. Make sure you tune in to the 2018 People’s Choice Awards to see if Adam Rippon wins for Competition Contestant or Game Changer of 2018!

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