In 2016, USA figure skater Adam Rippon was on a daily diet that consisted of three slices of bread topped with a fine layer of substitute butter. While Rippon prepares to compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, he finally opened up about his personal battle with body image issues and how it’s plaguing his sport.
According to E! Online, Rippon revealed that he has dealt with extreme dieting and body image problems ever since he started training to become a figure skater. Rippon is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs in at a trim 150 pounds, but when he first saw his fellow teammates Vincent Zhou and Nathan Chen, he wanted to become as thin as possible.
“I looked around and saw my competitors, they’re all doing these quads, and at the same time they’re a head shorter than me, they’re 10 years younger than me and they’re the size of one of my legs. I’d do a few days having my three pieces of bread and then finish the whole loaf of bread and have 3,000 calories.”
Other men in the field of figure skating have come forward about their own struggles with eating disorders. In fact, almost a dozen figure skaters have admitted to extreme dieting, and that is only the tip of the iceberg.
This includes Johnny Weir and Brian Boitano, who also opened up about the extreme lengths athletes go to maintain their body weight. Weir revealed that he only eats one meal every day but will sometimes allow himself a bite of dark chocolate. Boitano, meanwhile, said that he hates it when his body fat gets above 4 percent.
For Rippon, his dieting struggles began when he was only 10-years-old. His trainer at the time told his mom that he wouldn’t be able to perform complex jumps because he had a “heavy bottom.”
While Rippon started an intense diet to get trim, everything changed in 2012 when he relocated to Southern California and hired dietician Susie Parker-Simmons to help him out. Now, Rippon is eating healthier than ever and doesn’t feel guilty when he eats.
Rippon’s struggles with eating disorders aren’t the only reasons he’s been in the news. Apart from being the first openly gay skater from the U.S. to participate in the Olympics, Rippon also made headlines with his ongoing feud with Vice President Mike Pence.
Rippon was asked about his political views in PyeongChang but brushed off the questions by focusing more on his historic run. In response, Donald Trump Jr. blasted Rippon on Twitter, calling him out for avoiding the question after being so outspoken about Pence in the past.
Donald Trump Jr. goes after Adam Rippon over Mike Pence comments https://t.co/f2FZVpfCFP— TIME (@TIME) February 14, 2018
Pence also addressed the issue in a tweet earlier this week. The vice president assured Rippon that he supports him and his teammates and that he is proud of all their accomplishments. Pence, of course, is known for his conservative viewpoints and his hard stance against the LGBTQ community.
Catch Adam Rippon as the 2018 Winter Olympics continue on NBC.