The countdown to the Winter Olympics has officially begun, and one sport that I’m eagerly awaiting watching is figure skating. Aside from the lavish costumes and the pulsing music, there’s nothing like watching figure skaters twist and turn on the ice. One competitor to keep an eye out for is Adam Rippon, who was an alternate for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, who is headed to the world stage as a member of Team USA’s lineup for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Before you watch Adam take on the ice, here are the seven things you need to know about him.
He Is a Huge RuPaul Fan
Adam may be one of the biggest RuPaul fans out there. He loves the show RuPaul’s Drag Race and told NBC Olympics that he often sacrifices his nine-hour sleep schedule to stay up later and watch the show.
His Favorite Workout Is SoulCycle
When Adam isn’t training six to nine hours a day on the ice, he loves a good SoulCycle session. He says he loves tapping it back at SoulCycle, riding in the dark to club music, and being surrounded by candles.
He Isn’t Going to Be the Next Top Chef
One thing Adam isn’t a pro at is cooking. He calls himself a self-proclaimed cooking disaster, even though he sticks to making the basics. His go-to meal when his cooking skills fail him? That would be the classic breakfast cereal Honey Nut Cheerios.
His Olympic Hero Is Aly Raisman
Adam told NBC Olympics he adores Aly because after winning the gold in 2012, she came back in 2016 to become an even better gymnast. He says her story reminds him that if you set your mind to something, anything is possible. He also believes that in another life, he was a gymnast because he can do a pretty mean cartwheel.
His Biggest Rival Is Nathan Chen
Adam’s been training with Nathan for the past five years, so while he feels like Nathan is his little brother, he still considers him a rival. But sometimes competition is good, and Adam told NBC Olympics that Nathan pushes him to be unafraid and better than the day before.
He Was Born Deaf
Adam told NBC Olympics he was born deaf and underwent corrective surgery at Yale University just before his first birthday, allowing him to hear almost perfectly.
He Has Choreographed Famous Routines
In addition to coming up with some of his own routines, Adam has choreographed skating programs for fellow Team USA athletes Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner, and Christina Gao.
To learn more about Adam, visit TeamUSA.org. The Winter Olympics air live beginning Feb. 8.