How Adam Rippon won the 2018 Olympics even without a gold medal

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The 2018 Winter Olympics may be remembered in the figure skating community as the year that all of the Americans choked. It sounds harsh, but just about everyone performed below expectation in their individual events at some point. Bradie Tennell and Nathan Chen entered the games with a reputation for never falling on their jumps, but they both fell multiple times in PyeongChang. Mirai Nagasu made history by landing her triple axel in the team event, but was never able to hit it again.

Adam Rippon, however, skated as well as he ever has. Without a quad in his program, it was a forgone conclusion that he couldn’t medal. A rough landing on a quad is often worth as much as or more than a less difficult jump executed cleanly. However a flawlessly skated program is far more pleasing to the eye — and no man was more elegant or entertaining than Rippon.

Watch his dazzling free skate:

Rippon wasn’t just charming on the ice, either. He had a handful of the best one liners of the entire Olympics, including these gems:

“I can’t explain witchcraft.”
“Can I just have a Xanax and a quick drink?”

It’s also worth noting that the 28-year-old media phenom doesn’t leave PyeongChang empty handed. Rippon skated the men’s free skate portion of the team competition, which earned him a bronze medal along with Tennell, Nathan Chen, Mirai Nagasu, pairs skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim, Chris Knierim and ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.

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