U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon made a splash in his Olympic debut but, just a few years ago, he was struggling to make ends meet.
His performance in the long program of the team competition helped put the United States on the podium with athletes from Canada and Russia. Rippon was on a high afterwards: "Now I'm actually an Olympian! They have the footage!" he said.
But his career has also had its low points. The rookie from Pennsylvania missed out on the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. In fact, he and fellow teammate Mirai Nagasu, who became the first American woman to land a triple Axel at an Olympics this year, both failed to make the team: "We were eating In-N-Out because we were so upset we weren't at the Olympic games," Rippon told NBC after his performance.
And Rippon went through a recent period where he was "broke," he tweeted earlier this month.
"A little over 5 years ago, I moved to California. I was broke AF, to the point where the little money I did have, I used to join the gym," he wrote.
The athlete didn't always have enough money for groceries, so "I would steal all the apples they had out for all the gym members."
"It wasn't easy and there have been ups and downs along the way, but as I'm now zipping my suitcases on my way to the Olympics, I can't help but remember what it took to get where I am today," he wrote in a separate tweet.
Rippon will have a shot at another Olympic medal when he competes in the men's individual competition, which begins on Friday with the short program.
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