The Winter Olympics begins on February 8 in South Korea. Team USA features two openly gay athletes.
Adam Rippon, a figure skater, is now hailed as a ‘hero’ by the left for refusing to meet Vice President Mike Pence, who will lead the American Olympic delegation.
Rippon accuses Pence of ‘funding gay therapy.’ Of course, that’s false.
From Daily Wire:
Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is being hailed as a hero for refusing to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, whom he accused of “funding gay conversion therapy,” despite Pence’s repeated efforts to respond to Rippon’s claims and clear the air.
USA Today called the interaction a “bizarre battle,” and implied that Pence is locked in a feud with an Olympic athlete, even though it seems it’s Rippon who would prefer to stand by an incorrect statement rather than sit down with the high profile official he’s accused — wrongly, according to Pence’s office — of supporting a horrific practice involving electroshock therapy.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon told reporters when Pence was announced as the administration’s choice for top Olympic delegate.
Pence’s office reportedly balked at the statement, and issued an immediate rebuttal, telling USA Today that “The Vice President is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” and that “this accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”
The Veep’s office even, it seems, reached out to Rippon in an effort to smooth things over.
“[Pence] was so concerned about the criticism he received from U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two — an offer Rippon turned down,” USA Today reported, hailing Rippon as “not backing down” on Twitter.
Rippon’s claims are, apparently, based on a rumor that circulated during the 2016 presidential campaign that, while running for Congress, Pence supported — and even suggested funding — “gay conversion therapy,” a strange idea from Evangelical circles in the early 2000s that claimed homosexuality could be “cured” by inpatient psychological treatment, and sometimes included electroshock therapy.
But even Snopes admits that Pence’s website doesn’t make any claims of conversion therapy efficacy, nor does it say the vice president supports anything remotely in line with electroshock therapy.
While on the subject of the Winter Olympics, The Washington Post published a piece that shows the Olympic Committee lamenting the team is overwhelmingly white.
The U.S. Olympic Committee says it’s taking its most diverse team ever to a Winter Games, an impressive and deserved boast that requires a caveat of sorts.
Yes, USOC officials are pleased the team includes more African Americans and Asian Americans — and even the first two openly gay men — than recent winter squads. But they also realize this year’s U.S. Olympic team, not unlike those of most other nations gathering in PyeongChang this week, is still overwhelmingly white.
“We’re not quite where we want to be,” said Jason Thompson, the USOC’s director of diversity and inclusion. “. . . I think full-on inclusion has always been a priority of Team USA. I think everybody’s always felt it should represent every American.”
Team USA numbers 243 athletes, which is the largest team any nation has sent to a Winter Olympics. Of that group, 10 are African American — 4 percent — and another 10 are Asian American. The rest, by and large, are white. The Winter Games contingent is typically much smaller than its summer counterpart, but the demographic differences are striking. The United States took more than 550 athletes to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Of that group, more than 125 were African American — about 23 percent.
[Note: This post was written by John S. Roberts]