Adam Rippon has had a great season. From winning his first national title, to jumping back into the mix at the World Championships, he has a lot to be proud of. Though Rippon is excited for all that he’s accomplished he is already thinking about next season and is hungry for more.
Adam had the third men’s highest ranking score in the free skate at the Team Challenge Cup this past weekend. Rippon fell on his opening quad lutz and admits that he’s had his struggles with it this season, but the rest of his program was solid and very entertaining. “My success rate wasn’t very high [for landing the quad lutz] this season, but I stayed true to it,” Adam said following his free skate on April 23. “I think heading into next season I would like to include the quad lutz, but also add the toe and maybe the sal, because I would like to be even more competitive than I felt that I was by the end of this season.”
At 26 years-old, when many men would have retired by now, but Adam Rippon still feels like he is in the prime of his career and has no plans of slowing down. If anything, he has displayed a new level of confidence that he attributes to his training. “I finally found the team of trainers and coaches that really believe in what I’m doing and that what I’m doing is enough,” Adam explained. “For so long I would go into events and think that I didn’t do enough. Now I think it comes with being older and having maturity, knowing that what I’ve done at home is enough and that I’m going to give each thing one hundred percent.”
Along with this growth and maturity has come the realization that mistakes are just that—mistakes. In many ways it seems as if Rippon has learned to be more resilient, which has contributed to his success this season. “At the end of the day I can’t really be upset with myself,” Adam said. “I have to forgive myself for mistakes because humans make mistakes, and I think for a long time I wouldn’t forgive myself and I held myself back in that respect. Now I would only be upset with myself if I got in my own way.”
It has been a long road for Adam, but he has not given up and all of his hard work and determination is beginning to pay off. “I’ve always known that I could be a good skater and I think that I’m finally fitting into the shoes that I felt were mine,” Rippon said. “I think that the sky is the limit. I think a few years ago I had been completely written off and I feel like to come through at 26 and still feel like I’m in the upswing of my career, is a little bit of a phenomenon, but it feels right.”
Adam has discovered who he is not only as a person, but as an athlete and stays true to that as he creates his programs with his choreographers. He has come into his own and has become more secure on the path that he has chosen for himself. “When I have an idea and I believe in it I go to my choreographers and I make them believe in it too,” Rippon expressed. “While I’m trying to polish it in the beginning of the season, I know what I want it to be at the end of the season so I don’t let any criticism that I find is gearing towards me trying to changing the program, fit what somebody thinks that I should be skating to.”
Adam already has a long list of music he is considering for his programs for next season, but was waiting until the end of the Team Challenge Cup to begin talking with his choreographers Jeff Buttle and Benji Schwimmer, about them so that he could give the final competition of the year his full attention. Now that the event is over, he will begin brainstorming with his team and begin the creation of his programs the week of May 17.
After such a good season, Adam is optimistic leading into next year and is excited about what the future holds. “A lot happened this year, I won my first national title, I publicly came out,” Adam said. “I placed back in the top six at the World Championships. I think this really helped my confidence I’m ready to just kind of ride this wave right into next season.”