Nearly eight months after Cher wrote about Adam Rippon for this year's TIME 100 list, the Olympic figure skater finally got to meet the legendary musician at the opening of her Broadway musical, "The Cher Show."
Rippon recently caught up with AOL's Gibson Johns at the VapoCOOL Experience in New York City, where he called their recent meeting "surreal" and revealed what she said to him at the star-studded opening night.
"I had the chance to meet her at the premiere of her show. It was so much fun," he told AOL. "She was like, 'People like us, the world just needs to accept us for who we are.' And I was like, ‘Like us?!’ It’s whatever. I didn’t ask any questions. Don’t question it."
Rippon's moment with Cher was indicative of something that he's realized about being in the public eye since becoming a household name overnight during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang back in February. The 29-year-old explained that "moments like that remind you that we’re all human," which is what he continues to remind himself whenever he experiences something major.
"The one thing that I’ve learned is that everybody is just a person," he said of the last 10 months. "All of these amplified and glorious experiences that we get to have, when you pull back the curtain on them, they’re just normal experiences."
"I just watched 'Five Foot Two,' that Lady Gaga documentary, and something that really goes with what I’m saying is that you watch Lady Gaga get ready for the Super Bowl in this old locker room with four white curtains, and you’re like, ‘This is one of the biggest moments of her career, and she’s just in a locker room.’ And a lot of things are like that," Rippon added. "You build them up so much, and it just ends up being something that is completely different [than what you expected]. But when you take that and you can go into every experience and be like, ‘This is just something I get to do,' you can go into it with a different headspace and really soak it in and enjoy it even more."
And, since the Olympics, Rippon has had quite a few of those "glorious experiences" that he mentioned: In addition to being one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world, he also won "Dancing With the Stars," appeared as a judge on "Dancing With the Stars: Juniors," and has been inescapable on every big talk show and news shows, with clips from his appearances often going viral.
Doing a variety of projects and appearances and partnerships is part of Rippon's strategy: All but done with figure skating, Rippon isn't exactly sure what he wants to commit himself to next, so why not try everything and see what works the best?
"Moving forward, I want to be an entertainer, but I want to find something that I can take just as seriously as I did skating, because that’s truly when I felt my best: When I was giving something my full attention and spent every day trying to better myself in those certain areas that I felt like I could improve in," he explained. "I want to find that next career path where I can do the same thing. That’s the biggest thing. I hope I can be successful and be known for that next thing, as well."
"It can feel a little bit stressful not knowing the answer, but it’s also a really great opportunity to just kind of soak it in, see what sticks and see where I like and where I feel comfortable," he added. "In the future, I’d love to be doing [one thing] for a while and for my skating to be almost like a fun fact about me. Like, ‘Did you know?’"
One potential new avenue for his career that Rippon discovered recently is comedy. After appearing on an episode of the second season of the "Will & Grace" revival, he realized that being funny would be a natural progression for him -- though maybe not in the form of acting.
"I love comedy. It's something that I feel super comfortable in and would love to pursue. Not so much acting, but maybe just comedy," he told us. "I made sure I stayed on set and watched everything, because I wanted to soak it in and see how the best of the best do this. I knew that I wanted to do something like this, so i made sure to take this experience and see what they did so that I could do the same thing?"
With so much going on in his career, Rippon has had to travel back and forth across the country constantly, which has forced him to find ways to avoid getting sick and keep his energy up. He told AOL that, in addition to swearing by DayQuil and NyQuil Severe with VapoCOOL, he also finds himself trying a ton of different health and wellness trends.
"I do everything that I can to stay healthy," he said. "I love to follow all of these trends, like I was really into celery juice for a few days, then I kind of fell out of it but now I’m starting out again. I always love a medical remedy, because traveling back and forth -- especially now in flu season with the weather changing -- can get really intense."
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