Adam Rippon’s ‘RIPPoff’ series has him skating to Lipinski, Kostner and more

The PyeongChang 2018 team bronze medal winner is taking on past Olympic figure skating programs in an Instagram series that’s been a hit with fans. 

By Nick McCarvel

Recreating an iconic Olympic figure skating moment is no easy task for any fan. But when that “fan” is 2018 PyeongChang team bronze medallist Adam Rippon, the re-creation looks – well, almost as good as the real thing.

As many people around the world have turned to binging TV shows, learning to cook elaborate dishes, and throwing birthday parties through video chat platforms, Rippon has used his downtime in quarantine to get back onto the empty ice – mask on – and skate to some of his favourite Olympic programs from years past.

“I’ve had time to skate for the first time in a long time and (I’m) having a blast,” Rippon wrote in mid-August, when he posted his first video of him emulating a part of Yuna Kim’s 2008-09 short program, “Danse Macabre.”

The American Rippon was a breakout star in PyeongChang, helping Team USA to the podium and placing 10th in the men’s event. His off-ice quips and role as being the first openly gay man to compete at the Olympics for the U.S. (in tandem with freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy) made him a household name.

Since his initial “RIPPoff”, as he calls the videos, Rippon has posted three more: Michelle Kwan’s 2004-05 "Tosca" free skate as well as two Olympic performances, including Tara Lipsinki’s gold medal-winning Nagano 1998 free skate and Carolina Kostner’s stirring Celine Dion short program from 2018.

“She’s probably one of the best skaters ever and if you have never seen her perform this, go watch,” Rippon wrote on Instagram of Kostner, the Sochi 2014 bronze medallist and one of the sport’s all-time artistic performers.

The videos, posted on Rippon’s Instagram, have garnered some 275,000 views and have skating fans wondering: Which program will Adam do next?