Olympian Adam Rippon gives fans a taste of skating commentary after declining NBC offer

Olympic figure skater and bronze medalist Adam Rippon won’t be joining his fellow Pennsylvania colleagues in analyzing this year’s winter games in Pyeongchang, much to fans’ disappointment. But Monday night, he offered a glimpse of what could have been.

Rippon, a Scranton native, said he declined an offer to join NBC as a correspondent but gave watchers a special treat Monday, joining Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones in a well-received analysis of a short dance routine from Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Rippon and Jones sat alongside gold medalist Scott Hamilton to talk everything from how “fine” sportscaster Terry Gannon is to how much Virtue makes them both feel like “a woman.”

Some quickly took to social media to comment on their analysis. One user called the back-and-forth “magic” while another requested that the two be given “the third hour of the Today show.”

Could Rippon be considering joining NBC for the 2022 Winter games in Beijing? It’s too early to say. Though, it’s clear that Rippon isn’t ready to give up his post in the Olympic Village just yet.

Rippon said Sunday that he was “flattered” that the network wanted him to join as a correspondent but had to decline because it would “require [him] to leave Team USA.”

Rippon also said that he found out about NBC’s proposal through the internet.

“I love being on Team USA and representing our country,” he wrote on Twitter. “My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition.”

Rippon’s followers were saddened at the possibility of what could have been.

NBC announced in a now-deleted statement Sunday that Rippon would be joining the team. An accompanying tweet from the network has also been deleted.

Rippon has gained notoriety during this year’s Olympics not just for his skating, but for being one of the United States’ first openly gay athletes. He’s also known for his internet presence and has gained attention for comments he made about Vice President Pence.

Conservatives on Twitter criticized NBC’s decision to hire Rippon before the skater clarified that he would not be joining the network.

NBC’s current figure skating analysts, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, have gained similar internet fandom. Don’t recognize their names? Here’s a deeper look at who they are.