Read if you Want a fun, funny, but also sweet memoir about someone who beat the odds If you ve been a longtime figure skating fan, Adam Rippon is no overnight media sensation However, that s what he became at the 2018 Winter Games Not only did his beautiful skating attract new admirers, but his witty personality and outspokenness also endeared him to many.I knew the basics of Rippon s story oldest of six children, parental divorce when he was young, a rocky post juniors skating career, financial struggles in his twenties, coming out in a United States Figure Skating official magazine, a catastrophic injury, and a nervewracking 2018 Nationals but I definitely didn t know the intimate details of such He is remarkably honest and mature about the very difficult relationships he has had with his parents all much better now , which I definitely didn t know about This is a chatty, warm, funny, and inspiring memoir It is not an explosive or bitchy tell all He is obviously protective of his loved ones and acquaintances, save for a possessive ex boyfriend and a mean girl from elementary school who frankly, both deserve it Even if you re not a skating fan or have closely followed his career, Rippon s story is an inspirational one without being too sentimental or hokey.Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review. Former Olympic Figure Skater And Self Professed America S Sweetheart Adam Rippon Shares His Underdog Journey From Beautiful Mess To Outrageous Success In This Hilarious, Big Hearted MemoirYour Mom Probably Told You It S What On The Inside That Counts Well, Then She Was Never A Competitive Figure Skater Olympic Medalist Adam Rippon Has Been Making It Pretty For The Judges Even When, Just Below The Surface, Everything Was An Absolute Mess From Traveling To Practices On The Greyhound Bus Next To Ex Convicts To Being So Poor He Could Only Afford To Eat The Free Apples At His Gym, Rippon Got Through The Toughest Times With A Smile On His Face, A Glint In His Eye, And Quip Ready For Anyone Listening Beautiful On The Outside Looks At His Journey From A Homeschooled Kid In Scranton, Pennsylvania, To A Self Professed American Sweetheart On The World Stage And All The Disasters And Self Delusions It Took To Get Him There Yeah, It May Be What S On The Inside That Counts, But Life Is So Much Better When It S Beautiful On The Outside To Be Clear Rippon Is Funny He Lands A Joke Like It S A Triple Axel, With Eyebrow Raising, Hilarious Passages That Demand To Be Read Out Loud To Whomever Is NearbyComedic Gold Washington Post Like a long Instagram story from our boy I enjoyed it Yes, you will probably laugh out loud reading Adam Rippon s Beautiful on the Outside That happened to me five times, twice in public If you re hoping for a sassy gay voice with this book, you re in luck Double luck if you were also hoping for gems of skate mom wisdom from Kelly Rippon There is a smattering of inside dirt, all the delightful because it is meticulously worded and beyond reproach I don t know if you ll cry, but I did Once when Rippon paid tribute to Johnny Weir and Rudy Galindo for how they contributed to the sport before him as out gay men, and once when a story about Rafael Arutyunyan showed that Rippon had earned this coach s respect and affection Most of all, this book gives you a close up view of how this Olympic medalist s mind works He acknowledges that he s not a normal human, but then going to the Olympics is not something normal humans do More than any other skating memoir I ve read, this one demonstrates that championship skating requires just as much mental strength as physical training Rippon s mental discipline is phenomenal, as is his ability to reframe setbacks and learn from them The structure of the book is beautiful, like Rippon s cheekbones It starts off with a profanity in the first sentence, to keep things humble His painful 2014 U.S Nationals, when he didn t qualify for the Olympic team, comes at the exact midpoint of the book From that point, the humor revs up until, by the end, I guarantee that you will laugh It all started in childhood, of course, when tiny Adam dreamed of being like a woman he saw pictured on a popcorn tin, skating outdoors in a long black coat, a bonnet, and a white muff The muff would obviously be the key to my success Enter Kelly Rippon, mother of six We re not going to get a muff, my mom said You don t need a muff Where do you even buy a muff Even as a small child, Rippon had elaborate plans for family talent shows, but they were often foiled because there was always at least one Rippon child having some sort of meltdown maybe my brother was crying or my sister shit her pants I raised my eyebrows at that Wouldn t his sister feel singled out, with a sentence like that I needn t have worried I soon encountered a major recurring theme of this book Suffice to say that nobody need feel singled out Everything you suspected about Kelly Rippon s Olympic level parenting is true With six kids, she made it to every child s school play or recital I can t even do that with two kids She once caught Adam engaging in rink gossip and cured him by making him watch a four hour documentary on the Salem witch trials She insisted on dinner as a family every night Then I read about how she reduced her son s commute as a young teen and saved money using connections she d developed on her own, Kelly Rippon found paying students for Rippon s coach at their local rink, then started a hockey program at that rink, booked a ton of rooms at a local hotel for that program, and got that hotel to reward her with a free room once a week Then she was able to get Rippon s coach to travel to them and stay there, at times, instead of him always taking the bus to train with her Give that woman a medal Adam was her equal, though He was in sixth grade when she told him she couldn t drive him to the rink in the mornings because she had to feed and clothe his five siblings and send them to school with their lunches He got them up early, fed and clothed them himself, packed their lunches, dressed his preschool sister s hair in a crown of braids, then woke his mother and informed her she could drive him to the rink He did this every morning until he moved out This prepared him well for a boss move in his final training year he singlehandedly changed coach Rafael Arutyunyan s haphazard scheduling structure He coordinated schedule information from every other student, made a master plan for the season, presented it to this formidable coach, then held his breath Arutyunyan adopted it whole This seems, to me, as grand an achievement as a quad lutz This kind of story gives insight into the degree of organization it takes to be an Olympic level athlete No wonder Rippon was able to sustain a near superhuman public appearance schedule during his first professional year I would watch old interviews the hosts had done, and I would see who their favorite guests were I would write four or five jokes for each appearance and try to get at least two of them into the conversation I didn t want it to look too obvious, like I was straining to get to the punch line, but I wanted to have material prepared See That was another thing I learned from competing to do the hard work in the dark so I could shine in the light Figure skating s emphasis on technical elements, transitions, flow and glide translated well to his post skating career, as it often does One striking passage involves a life lesson from legendary choreographer David Wilson Rippon demonstrated Wilson s choreography with a flawless skate that had a single stepout, and this tiny mistake bothered him so much that he broke character in frustration This brought on a rant from Wilson, who was furious about the disrespect it showed to the work and the audience It was painful, but it helped Rippon mature past the trap of perfectionism, an enormously empowering move But enough about hard work Don t worry, there s drama, too If you re wondering if former coach Nikolai Morozov appears in this book, the answer is yes From alcohol overuse, to dating of students, to evidence that Morozov was often behind on his rent, the mentions are restrained, but choice Yes, Rippon was desperately broke and hungry Interviews have mentioned that he used to live on free apples from his gym, but I didn t know until now that he s actually allergic to apples Yes, Rippon did have a chaste romance with Yuna Kim for a while they were compatible in many ways Normally, as an Asian woman, I wouldn t appreciate a white man claiming, I, too, am a shy, beautiful, timid Asian girl, but in Rippon s case well, fair enough Yes, Rippon discusses his coming out process He mentions an entire network of support behind him, including officials and staff from U.S Figure Skating, such as the fiercely supportive Barb Reichert, director of external relations He thanks choreographer Cindy Stuart, friend and fellow world junior champion Derrick Del, and Randy Gardner s husband Jay Gendron, as well This kind of network is not new, but the support from USFS is a recent phenomenon Rippon s memoir, in conjunction with earlier memoirs from Johnny Weir and Rudy Galindo, chronicle this development in the sport s U.S history He also discusses a few relationships with men, with a generosity toward his younger self that is absolutely beautiful If there is anything that young LGBTQ folks take from Rippon as a role model, let that gentleness be part of it On the other hand, Rippon can be wickedly funny, as well Kudos to him for writing about an unpleasant ex in a way that is thoroughly satisfying he deserved it without being actually vengeful at all Yes, there s diva humor He recounts being pleased that when he broke his ankle, at least he had had a pedicure the day before, so he looked good for the X rays And then when he left the rink to heal the injury, he cleaned out his locker and left conspicuous vacuum tracings around it because I wanted it to look like someone had died Rippon doesn t focus so much on medals He barely mentions winning Nationals it s not about winning He discusses the process, instead, especially the mental aspect He recovered from his injury at the Olympic Training Center, where there are countdown clocks to the Olympics everywhere, but he took their ubiquity as incentive to time his recovery, not as a source of stress The entire book conveys a tone of authenticity, but it s not artless Nor is it performative, although it is conscious of performance Rippon s authenticity, instead, comes across as an intentional strategy hard won, mindful After so long in the sport, he has learned that being inauthentic skating to please others rather than the self, skating to convey a false image, skating while hiding secrets can only hold the skater back You can see the proof of this strategy when you watch his rock solid Olympic programs He stays mentally present for every moment He paces himself he does not rush he breathes This is phenomenal Rippon mentions saucily, several times, that his birthday is coming up November 11, to be exact What would make a good gift for someone who s made so many of his skating dreams come true Can somebody get Adam Rippon a really nice muff Girlfriend deserves one Review originally posted to figureskatersonline.com. We all know its what s on the inside that counts Yet sometimes that mess on the outside is equally outstanding and worthy of the gold In this case both situations are true You d be correct in saying Adam wasn t born with a silver spoon.You d also be correct in noting his mom was like many single moms struggling to survive.Yet, the story graciously builds upon his humble roots in Scranton Pa to his glorious albeit closely monitored life in California.So many focused upon the highest prize Getting Gold Yet for Adam it wasn t about the medal it was about the process of getting there that won the fans.You see Adam is unique in the fact he had no prior experience in figure skating when he went to Montage Mountain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania a place I ve called home my entire 46 yrs.He moved up in the world when he found the Ice Box in Pittston which was like jumping from a box car to the Steamtown Train Excursion.What he noted in his work was how difficult everything was along the way From securing those glam and glitzy pieces for events to the housing costs to the event expenses and everything in between.The coaches were an entirely different issue as finding a good fit is often not easy The female coach from Russia was one such experience he d probably rather forget.However, life goes on and is in constant motion Always turning on its axis Much like Frank in doing things, My Way Adam was simply doing them, His way No, Frank Sinatra probably wasn t his cup of tea but in Adam you can find heart, compassion, empathy, and authenticity and that s what builds character and enforces tenacity.I have shed than a few tears when he spoke of his teen years and the transgression of becoming a young adult That need to want to be on your own yet seeking boundaries from afar Oh, you know what I mean, for us single parentsWhen your child needs a vehicle, a job, a college and or career The worries, the fear, the trepidations and mental anguish of wondering will my child fly away or fall flat on his or her face.The struggle is real.I m so glad he opened up not solely about his sexual orientation but rather his life experiences.Where does he go from here How does he build upon winning the Gold in 2018 at the Winter Olympics in Pyang Chang What does his family life and personal life look like now Well I would tell you this he s not one to cherry coat and I admire that trait Keeping it real he tells his audience, I felt like I had wasted my life chasing a kingdom that doesn t even exist Yet he s one to admire and behold for it s not the glitz and glam but the person that truly is inspiring A hometown proud individual who is showing us all that hard work involves than just getting it done. Beautiful on the Outside was beautifully written and gives readers an inside look at all the ups and downs that come with being a professional athlete We are able to see every side of him which makes this such an enjoyable read His sass and charm shine through The story begins with Adam describing how he never felt like he fit in anywhere He admits how he was bullied and I appreciated his vulnerability As the story moves on, we get to see how his passion for skating started As the story progresses, I loved seeing how Adam grew as an individual and athlete He started making decisions that he always knew he could, but may have not always had the courage to make by himself One of the biggest moments in the book was deciding when to come out not only to his family but to people around the world I admire his bravery and courage I believe he has and will help so many LGBTQ individuals Adam seems so relatable and open It does really feel like we could be friends and this charm is what makes me and so many want to root for him in whatever he does Of course, he details his experience at the Olympics I was so happy when I was reading this part of the book because I knew all that he went through to get to that point In 2018, he attended the Olympic games where he shined with his choreography and personality If people didn t know who he was, they sure did now Again, I really loved his growth He was finally able to deal with things one thing at a time and not let doubt creep up because, in the end, he was a winner as long as he gave it his all.I give Beautiful on the Outside 5 stars because it was one of the most charming and authentic memoirs I have read Adam s deatil, humor, and candid writing style made this a must read. Adam Rippon is a national treasure who must be protected and celebrated Light hearted, witty and exceedingly fun, in Beautiful on the Outside, Rippon uses his trademark humor to tell the story of his introduction to skating and the trials and sacrifices made by his family to turn him into an Olympic medalist In the book he answers some questions, such as why did I see his sweet mug EVERYWHERE during the Olympics he didn t say no to any media requests and what he tells his Tinder dates advertising In any case, Adam pushed himself hard and strove for success Underneath all the cheakiness, he s actually a very driven athlete who just happens to have a killer smile When he was broke and eating free gym apples, Adam made a choice to keep pursuing skating and became an elite athlete on his own terms This included coming out as homosexual when he decided he was ready and it helped propel him to live authentically and as his best self for the Olympic Games I stayed up late last night watching his Dancing with the Stars Routines and he has such a beautiful grace in his movements I m glad he s saying yes to so many amazing opportunities because I love his sense of humor and the way he seems to never have met a stranger If you ve read the book, you ll understand how much I laughed during one DWTS exchange he had with the judges in which the guest judge asked him about this amazing red and black suit he wore for a number, and Adam quipped back that he took the suit from the Judge s dressing room before the show I m so happy Hachette Books picked me to send this lovely book to. I m going to be that judge and deduct a star for technical merit Rippon writes a hilarious and compelling memoir, and his book is like a message from a friend But Juliette, you say, isn t Rippon 29 years old What could experience he possibly have had to write about He s an Olympian He writes about the early mornings, the weeks away from his family as a young boy, his physical difficulties including his eating disorder , competitions everything that you would expect And he writes with his usual humor and flair I was laughing in the train, which is always a good thing I love how he puts a positive spin on everything he attempts I love that he encourages his readers to just go for it which is, btw, what he told me when I said I was scared to skate as an adult He s a great human being.So, about that star deduction.Sometimes, I struggled with the timeline of events He would talk about an event, then share stories that may or may not have happened in the past, and then go back to the first story, I think I wish the transitions were clearer That s my only complaint with the book Nothing that should detract from the book itself. I laughed I cried I nearly wet myself I knew the book would be funny and entertaining, but it far exceeded my expectations Adam is a true storyteller, and I m thrilled he s now sharing THIS gift with us Seriously, is there anything he can t do He doesn t hold back or sugarcoat anything, and it doesn t seem like there s really anything off limits as he tells us about his life in skating I learned quite a bit about what it s like to be an elite skater, what it s like to work towards the Olympics and everything that goes into it, and a bit about what it s like to be Adam Rippon He s brutally honest, self deprecating, and a masterful storyteller that had me reading the book from cover to cover in one day If you re a fan of Adam, a fan of figure skating, a fan of athletes, and or just want a good laugh, pick up this book You won t regret it I very much enjoy Adam Rippon s social media presence, but that s pretty much all this book is I guess I was expecting for to be revealed during this memoir, but it s pretty much chapter after chapter of Adam saying how hard he worked in skating that it didn t always work out peppered in stories about bad bathroom experiences how his mother nagged him Also, I chose the audiobook because I thought Adam s fun personality would shine through, but he was quite monotone I m a fan of Adam Rippon, and will continue to follow his career I m unsure if I ll listen read any future book from him.
Adam Rippon is an Olympic athlete and medal winning figure skater He won the 2010 Four Continents Championships and the 2016 U.S National Championships and was selected to represent the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea He came out as gay in October 2015 and, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, won a bronze medal as part of the figure skating team event, thus becomi
- 256 pages
- Beautiful on the Outside
- Adam Rippon
- 15 September 2019 Adam Rippon