Out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has announced the happy news that he and his longtime boo Jussi-Pekka ‘JP’ Kajaala are now engaged.
“JP and I didn’t get to see each other for almost all of 2020 because of the pandemic,” said in a post on Instagram. “When there was finally a chance for me to go and see him in Finland, I jumped at it. I was there for a little over two months.”
Amid sharing jokes, shoveling snow, binge-watching The Crown, and even booting up for a little skating, “We bought ourselves some rings and said that magic word.. ‘duh!’ We got engaged.”
“I’m excited to marry JP because he’s just the best,” Rippon tells PEOPLE in an statement. “He’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out (which is a lot). He’s my cheerleader and I’m his. I just love him a lot.”
Leading up to the big moment, Rippon says the couple “did everything together.” They bought the rings together, picked them up together, and even simultaneously dropped down to a knee and popped the question in unison so they could both “be the one who proposed.”
“We went to a nice dinner and we did it at the same time,” the 31-year-old athlete told Good Morning America. “We did three, two, one, and we put the rings on.”
Rippon became a household name during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he scored a bronze medal as part of Team USA. As a result, he became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to medal at the Olympics – and playfully declared himself ‘America’s sweetheart.’
It was while competing abroad that Rippon met his future fiancé on Tinder.
Since that time, the couple has been out and proud about their relationship. Kajaala has appeared with Rippon on red carpets at events and shared moments on each others Instagram accounts.
Rippon, a longtime LGBTQ activist, says the exposure was done with a purpose.
“I think that representation and seeing people in different circumstances can help inspire,” he told GMA. “I think growing up, I never really saw myself getting married because I didn’t see how it would happen.”
“It was with JP, the first time I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I know the feeling I can marry somebody,’” he added.
The couple hasn’t picked a date yet, but Rippon says he’d be happy with a small, non-Olympic sized ceremony.
“I think what we are just going to do is wear some cool clothes, go to the courthouse, get married, come home and maybe go to Houston Steakhouse after and that will be that.”
Congratulations to the happy couple!
(source: PEOPLE, Good Morning America)