What Adam Rippon was thinking during his Olympic debut
Left off the team in both 2010 and 2014 after fifth and eighth place finishes at the Olympic trials, respectively, Adam Rippon is excited to finally be an Olympian.
So excited, in fact, that he keeps reminding his Olympic Village roommate Mirai Nagasu — about every 10 minutes, by his estimation — that they are finally Olympians. “He says, Can you believe what’s happening?” says Nagasu. “We’re here at the Olympics together. And I go, okay, let’s get ready to compete now.”
He and Nagasu, who finished third at Olympic trials but was bypassed for another skater for the 2014 Olympic team, had breakout performances at the team skating event on Monday in the Gangneung Ice Arena. Nagasu made history after she landed a triple axel, becoming the first U.S. woman to complete the jump in an Olympic competition, while Rippon’s powerful free skate to Coldplay quickly made him the top trending Twitter topic after his scores put him in third place.
Before he took the ice — and even during his program — Rippon admitted that he did quite a bit of talking to himself.
As he closed in on the end of the program, Rippon says, “I was saying to myself, baby you better keep it together. I was going into my last spin and I remember I looked at one of the judges, I pushed forward and said [to myself] you were never known for your jumps so you better spin the hell out of this last spin.”
He did, and the rest is history, which is fine with Rippon. “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life. Now I am actually an Olympian. They have footage, they can pull it up. Let the record show that Adam Rippon is an Olympian,” he says.
This article originally appeared on Time.com