American figure skater Adam Rippon is baring all for ESPN Magazine‘s annual Body Issue.
The 28-year-old figure skater won over fans – including Sally Field and Reese Witherspoon – during his bronze medal performance at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Now, he’s showing off more than just his moves in the new issue celebrating his strength and physicality.
Rippon, who came out publicly in 2015, says the nude shoot wouldn’t have been something he was comfortable with only a short time ago.
“I couldn’t have done this [shoot] while I was in the closet,” he tells ESPN. “I think that, with my experience of coming out, I felt so liberated in so many ways.”
The skater also wanted to show off his body while he feels in top form.
“I don’t want to say I’ll never be in this shape again, but I’ll never be in this shape. I’ll be in another shape. This is a milestone of all the work it took me to get to the point to be an Olympic medal-winning figure skater,” he explains.
Rippon also hopes to show a different side of figure skating, namely the power and strength required to make all those moves on the ice look so effortless.
“I don’t think figure skaters get the credit we deserve, but at the same time, that’s our job… the whole point is that it looks really easy,” he adds.
ESPN‘s Body Issue, which also features New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley, WWE’s Charlotte Flair, Huston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, golfing legend Greg Norman and more athletes, will be published Monday.