Adam Rippon would now 'totally' accept a call from Mike Pence

PHOTO: Adam Rippon of the United States reacts as his score is posted following his performance in the mens short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. PlayAP Photo/David J. Phillip
WATCH Adam Rippon talks Olympic debut and Mike Pence

Has the icy relationship between Adam Rippon and Mike Pence thawed out?

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It seems so, now that U.S. Olympic figure skater, who said he previously turned down a phone call from the vice president, has had a change of heard and is now open to having such a conversation.

"I was offered a phone call with the vice president that I decided not to take before the games," Rippon, who earned a bronze at the games in PyeongChang,South Korea, said Friday during an interview on NBC."

"I didn’t take the phone call [with VP Mike Pence] because I needed to focus on the competition," the Scranton, Pennsylvania-born athlete explained. "I feel that Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I was taught when I grew up, and I think that it's important if you’re given the platform to speak up for those who don’t have a voice."

But when asked if he would now accept a call from Pence, who led the U.S. Olympic delegation, Rippon said, "totally."

PHOTO: Adam Rippon of the United States, competes in the figure skating team event mens single skating free skating during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 12, 2018.AFP/Getty Images
Adam Rippon of the United States, competes in the figure skating team event men's single skating free skating during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 12, 2018.

Rippon, 28, and skier Gus Kenworthy, 26, are the first openly gay U.S. athletes to compete at the Winter Olympics.

And because of that, Rippon said he understands why his perceived feud with Pence has drawn significant interest.

"I think there is a lot being made of it," he said, "because people still on some level people still have a problem with it."

PHOTO: U.S. Winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy (left) posted this photo of himself with fellow openly gay Olympian Adam Rippon in South Korea on Feb. 9, 2018.Instgram/guskenworthy
U.S. Winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy (left) posted this photo of himself with fellow openly gay Olympian Adam Rippon in South Korea on Feb. 9, 2018.

At a press conference earlier this month in PyeongChang, Rippon said, "I don't want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence. I want it to be about my amazing skating and being America's sweetheart."

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence, right, walks to his seat alongside second lady Karen Pence at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool
Vice President Mike Pence, right, walks to his seat alongside second lady Karen Pence at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

The Rippon-Pence saga kicked off last month when Rippon told USA Today of the vice president's involvement with the Olympics, "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it."

In a 2000 statement on his congressional campaign website, Pence said, "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior." During the 2016 election campaign, however, Pence's spokesman said he does not support the concept.

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