Adam Rippon USA
2017 Skate America free skate
So what do you do when you open your program dislocating your shoulder on a botched quad lutz? If you’re Adam Rippon, you pop your shoulder back in place and skate the rest of your program cleanly.
In so many ways, this program - and the way it unfolded here at Skate America - is Rippon’s past few years in a nutshell (including picking up dead bugs off the ice before he started skating). There’ve been doubts and injuries and distractions, but his resilience has been unwavering.
And so with all this in mind, his determination to continue skating after dislocating his shoulder was not at all a surprise.
This particular moment of his season was a defining one. Had he not finished this program, he would not have qualified for the Grand Prix Final. Had he not qualified for the Grand Prix Final, he would not have added an extra differentiator to his resume before Nationals. Had he not had the Grand Prix Final differentiator, he might not have gotten that Olympic spot that he had been working toward after popping his last two jumps at Nationals and finishing fourth.
Fly on, Adam Rippon. Looking back now, his resilience in this program put the wheels in motion for what would become a life-changing 2018.
Oh, and Rippon’s runner-up highlight for me? One of the most incredibly, roaring, electric short programs I’ve ever seen: