Strange Olympic Pairs

“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘
Faster, Higher, Stronger’.  It appears the US Olympic Committee would like
to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different’.  If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work
– FOX News Vice President John Moody criticizes the diversity of the US Olympic Team
In case anyone is keeping track, there are 243 athletes on the US Olympic Team
Two of them are (openly) gay.  That’s not even one in ten!

So, who’s watching the Olympics?  Eh, I know you were watching.  You at least watched the Opening Ceremonies, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Far be it from me to turn my back on a hot shirtless man – although, you know, occasionally these things do happen.  Anyway, I did find the presence of the now-requisite shirtless flag bearer from Tonga somewhat odd for a Winter Olympics – although it did remind me that I need to get an oil change!  Turns out, Pita Taufatofua, who was a taekwondo competitor in the Rio Olympics, is suddenly a cross country skier.  He picked up the sport two years ago – when he first saw snow!  Well, how many skiers do they have in Tonga?

My eyes were peeled for our two openly gay Olympians – and I stress “openly” because…well, what happens in the Olympic Village, stays in the Olympic Village.  Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy kissed for the cameras and ended up all over the internet.  Gus posted the photos, saying, “We’re here.  We’re queer.  Get used to it.”  How retro.  Turns out getting ready for your close-up ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Rippon said, “I’ve been bleaching my teeth for the past few days, and now the wind that I create from just talking makes them hurt.  Like, I think this is a sign that I’m officially ready for my Olympic debut.”  I believe Peggy Fleming had the same problem.

Although Mike Pence allegedly got a selfie with Pita (but it does look like it could be a fake), he hasn’t yet gotten one with Adam Rippon.  You’ll recall that Adam previously said that he wasn’t a fan of the VP due to his association with gay conversion therapy.  Shockingly enough, Pence addressed the situation in a Tweet. “@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU.  Don’t let fake news distract you.  I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold.  Go get ‘em!” 

Making the situation murkier, Rippon’s mom Kelly spoke out about the alleged war of words.  “I believe that you can say it many different ways.  I don’t think he ever said, ‘I refuse to do that’, because that suggests a tone of intolerance and inflexibility.  He conveyed to whomever, I don’t know the individuals, that any kind of communication would have to be done after the competition is over.”  I can corroborate what Mrs. Rippon says.  Here is what Adam said to a reporter last month: “If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation.”  So there you have it.

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