Adam Rippon is shedding light on a prevalent issue in figure skating: body image and extreme dieting.
In an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday, the U.S. Olympian opens up about the pressure he and other athletes have faced to stay thin.
According to author Karen Crouse, in 2016, the now-28-year-old had a daily diet consisting of three slices of whole grain toast and three cups of coffee, each sweetened with six packs of Splenda.
The openly gay competitor remembers:
“It makes me dizzy now to think about it.”
Rippon, who stands 5’7″ and now weighs around 150 pounds, pursued a leaner frame in order to compete with fellow U.S. skaters Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, who are both in their teens.
“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.”
When he was only 10 years old, Adam had a female coach who told his mother Kelly that he would never be able to execute advanced jumps because of his “heavy bottom.”
Luckily, Rippon’s mother — a former dancer who once lived off of lettuce sandwiches — knew how to address her son’s complicated relationship with food.
“My mom understands because my mom went through the same thing.”
By coming forward with his story, Adam hopes to use his newfound fame and platform to help others dealing with similar issues.
[Image via Adam Rippon/Instagram.]