Adam Rippon talks life after the Olympics: 'It feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders' (Exclusive)

Adam Rippon will forever be thankful for his time in the Olympics, but he's grateful to have that time in his rearview.

Since competing at the 2019 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 29-year-old star has transformed his two weeks in the spotlight into a full-fledged career in show business. Between his popular YouTube channel, his stint on "Dancing With the Stars" and his appearance in Taylor Swift's "You Need To Calm Down" music video, Rippon has proven to be one of the industry's most versatile and entertaining stars, and his successes over the past year have come as a relief.

"It feels like a weight off my shoulders," Rippon told AOL at the New York stop for Delta Air Lines and American Express' #DeltaAmexPerks Perktoberfest Tour. "There have been a few times when I’ve been promoting my book, and some of my newer followers will see that and I’ll see in the comments that they’ll be like, 'I didn’t know he went to the Olympics.' Which is crazy, but love it. I want that to become my fun fact."

Rippon's aforementioned YouTube channel, which he launched earlier this year, has injected him into a whole new world, which has forced him to cultivate a whole new set of fans who, just like his new Instagram followers, might not even know that he made history at the 2018 Olympics as the United States' first openly gay athlete to medal at the Winter Olympics.

In other words, his foray into YouTube has afforded him a fresh start that many could only dream of.

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Adam Rippon out and about since the Olympics
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Adam Rippon out and about since the Olympics
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Adam Rippon is seen outside Oscar de la Renta during New York Fashion Week September 2019 on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 15: Adam Rippon attends the Special Screening Of Lionsgate's "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 15, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 07: Adam Rippon visits SiriusXM Studios on May 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Adam Rippon attends the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at New York Hilton Midtown on May 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27: Adam Rippon arrives at The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' 41st Season Crescendo Gala Fundraiser at The Fairmont on April 27, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 24: Adam Rippon attends the Build Series at Build Studio on April 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Adam Rippon attends the 2019 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LADYGANG -- Episode 113 "LadyGang and Chill" -- Pictured: Adam Rippon -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 09: Adam Rippon arrives for Pride Live launches REBEL628 Campaign to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots at The Chapel At The Abbey on April 09, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Adam Rippon speaks onstage during The Human Rights Campaign 2019 Los Angeles Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for The Human Rights Campaign )
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Jussi-Pekka Kajaala (L) and Adam Rippon attend the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Adam Rippon attends Center Theatre Group Matthew Bourne's "Cindereall" Opening Night Performance at Ahmanson Theatre on February 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Sheinelle Jones, Dylan Dreyer, Adam Rippon and Al Roker on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Adam Rippon at the VapoCOOL Experience in New York City, where he helped launch Vicks DayQuil and NyQuil SEVERE Liquid with VapoCOOL. (Credit: MSL Group)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: Adam Rippon speaks during Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents Christmas On I.C.E. at PlayStation Theater on December 17, 2018 in New York City. 477176 (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TBS)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Adam Rippon attends opening night of 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for 'To Kill A Mockingbird')
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Adam Rippon attends the TIME Person Of The Year Celebration at Capitale on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Time)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon attends the Inaugural TPG Awards Ceremony at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on December 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Adam Rippon attends the Broadway Opening Night Performance of 'The Cher Show' at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Adam Rippon poses in the winners room at The Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards at The Roundhouse on October 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - OCTOBER 04: (L-R) Val Chmerkovskiy, Adam Rippon and Mandy Moore visit 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on October 4, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 01: U.S. Olympic figure skating gold medalist Adam Rippon speaks at a rally calling on Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court on October 1, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Sen. Flake is scheduled to give a talk at the Forbes 30 under 30 event in Boston after recently calling for a one week pause in the confirmation process to give the FBI more time to investigate sexual assault allegations. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Adam Rippon attends the cast photo call for 'Laramie: A Legacy' on September 24, 2018 at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 15: Figure skater Adam Rippon attends the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on September 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS - 'The Finale (Holiday Special)' - In a stunning surprise at the end of last week's episode, there was no elimination at the end of the night, so the four semi-finalist kid couples have all advanced to the finals on the season finale of 'Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,' SUNDAY, DEC. 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON
DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS - 'Halloween Night' - The eight remaining celebrity kids are donning their scariest costumes as they prepare to treat the viewers to some spooky dances, as 'Halloween Night' comes to 'Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,' SUNDAY, OCT. 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, MANDY MOORE, ADAM RIPPON
TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR 2018 - Talent, executives and showrunners from ABC arrived to The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills for the Disney | ABC Television All-Star Cocktail Reception and Interview Opportunity. (Image Group LA via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON
DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS - 'Disney Night' - The nine remaining celebrity kids will transform into some of the most magical Disney characters from their favorite Disney films and celebrate the magnificence of 'Disney Night' on 'Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,' SUNDAY, OCT. 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Mirai Nagasu (L) and Adam Rippon attend DSW Block Party hosted by Olympians Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu on June 27, 2018 at Ramscale Studio in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for DSW)
US Olympic athelets Adam Rippon (R) and Kosovar-British singer Rita Ora attend The Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE New York at Cipriani Wall Street on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
US olympic athlete Adam Rippon attends The Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE New York at Cipriani Wall Street on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Hosts Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon speak onstage during The Trevor Project TrevorLIVE NYC at Cipriani Wall Street on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Trevor Project)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Figure skater Adam Rippon visits ' The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show' at Z100 Studio on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Adam Rippon visits Build Series to discuss 'Dancing with the Stars' at Build Studio on May 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Figure skater Adam Rippon poses for a photo to celebrate the 'Dancing With The Stars' Finale at The Empire State Building on May 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS: ATHLETES - 'Episode 2604' - After three weeks of stunning competitive dancing, the final three couples advance to the finals of 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,' live on MONDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON, JENNA JOHNSON
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 21: Mirrorball trophy winners figure skater Adam Rippon (L) and dancer/TV personality Jenna Johnson pose at ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes' Season 26 - Finale on May 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS: ATHLETES - 'Episode 2604' - After three weeks of stunning competitive dancing, the final three couples advance to the finals of 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,' live on MONDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) JENNA JOHNSON, ADAM RIPPON
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 14: Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson attend ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars: Athletes' Season 26 semifinal show on May 14, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS: ATHLETES - 'Episode 2603' - The six remaining athletes are ramping up their spring dance training as they ready themselves for another double-header, on the semi-finals of 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,' MONDAY, MAY 14 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON, JENNA JOHNSON
DANCING WITH THE STARS: ATHLETES - 'Episode 2601' - Sports fans rejoice as one of the most competitive seasons of 'Dancing with the Stars' ever fires up the scoreboard and welcomes 10 determined athletes who will take to the ballroom floor for their first dance, on the season premiere of 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,' MONDAY, APRIL 30 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) JENNA JOHNSON, ADAM RIPPON
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Adam Rippon attends the 2018 TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Best-of-the-Best Awards Gala at the Washington Hilton on April 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Adam Rippon is seen walking in Midtown on April 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 12: Adam Rippon attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 12: Adam Rippon attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS: ATHLETES - Get ready, sports fans, for the most competitive season of 'Dancing with the Stars' ever as the show fires up the scoreboard and welcomes 10 athletes to sparkle up their uniforms and lace up their dancing shoes as they ready themselves for their first dance on the ballroom floor, on the season premiere of 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,' MONDAY, APRIL 30 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON, JENNA JOHNSON
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Olympic figure skaters Adam Rippon (L) and Ashley Wagner arrive at the Human Rights Campaign's 2018 Los Angeles Gala Dinner at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Adam Rippon celebrates as he is honored with the Visibilty Award during the Human Rights Campaign 2018 Los Angeles Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Adam Rippon discusses 2018 Winter Olympics with the Build Series at Build Studio on March 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Adam Rippon discusses 2018 Winter Olympics with the Build Series at Build Studio on March 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Olympic medalist Adam Rippon is the guest today, Thursday, March 8, 2018 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) ADAM RIPPON
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Adam Rippon attends the premiere of 'Rise' hosted by NBC & The Cinema Society at The Landmark at 57 West on March 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: 2018 Winter Olympics Bronze medal winner, figure skater Adam Rippon visits 'Extra' at Renaissance New York Times Square hotel at Times Square on March 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Adam Rippon visits the SiriusXM studios on March 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Adam Rippon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Adam Rippon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Olympic medalist Adam Rippon attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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"I didn’t come up in that world, but what I’ve learned -- and it’s kind of scary going into a new platform when you have a following [somewhere else] -- is that you start at zero, you have to find a new audience and learn from trying new things," Rippon explained. "All social media, if you use it in the right way, can be a great way to connect, and you can break down a lot of barriers."

He also tries to break down those walls with in-person interactions with fans. Rippon told AOL that he'll often get comments or tweets from fans who said they were too nervous to come up to him in person, adding that he encourages everyone to come up to him if they see him in public, as he considers "making people smile" to be part of his job.

In order to do that, though, he has to make sure to take ample time for himself to recharge.

"I don’t have to think about being ‘on,’ but, at home, I’m a quiet person and I love to have my alone time. I’m an introverted extrovert. I’m not about going out and partying. I don’t feel recharged from that. I love getting dinner with friends, but other than that I stay home," Rippon said. "No matter where I am, no matter what happens, whomever I meet I’m always giving them 100 percent, so sometimes I do need those days. We all go through that, because you want to give people your best and make people smile, so I try to take time for myself so I’m able to do that."

While that may sound like an unexpectedly tall task for someone like Rippon who is always on the go and seemingly always working on a new project, the former figure skater explained that his near-constant travel back-and-forth from Los Angeles to New York (which he says is a weekly occurrence) actually forces him to stay on top of his self-care routine.

"What helps me a lot when I’m traveling often is that, as soon as I get somewhere, I take a shower and throw on one of those sheet masks, so you wash that travel off and moisturize right away," he said, adding that he doesn't have a favorite face mask brand.

"Whatever’s the cheapest at Duane Reade," Rippon laughed. "The most important thing is that it’s on."

Find out more about the #DeltaAmexPerks Perktoberfest Tour here.

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