(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Adam Rippon’s Official Instagram Account)
Nothing can stop a love like theirs, not even distance and certainly not the coronavirus pandemic!
Retired American figure skater Adam Rippon, said to be the “first openly gay man to compete at a Winter Game,” is now engaged to his Finnish boyfriend Jussi-Pekka “JP” Kajaala. Rippon met Kajaala while he was competing in Helsinki in 2018, People reports.
The 31-year-old took to Instagram to share the happy news along with several photos which they took for posterity. Rippon said in his post, “JP and I didn’t get to see each other for almost all of 2020 because of the pandemic. 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.”
Rippon—who visited Kajaala from November 2020 to January 2021—added that while he was there, he helped Kajaala shovel snow, build a cottage, and, “In between all of that and binging the entire 4 seasons of The Crown, we bought ourselves some rings and said that magic word … ‘duh!'” Rippon joked. “We got engaged.”
Rippon revealed in an interview with People that he and Kajaala proposed to each other at Hotel Kamp in Helsinki where the couple enjoyed a dinner. They then “walked around the Finnish capital to celebrate.”
Rippon said, “We did everything together. We bought the rings together and picked them up at the same time.” Further, he revealed, “I really wanted us to have rings from Finland. I thought it would be fun to have a little piece of Finland with us all the time as JP is getting ready to move to Los Angeles hopefully by the end of the year.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple plans to have a courthouse wedding. Rippon said, “Since it’ll be pretty hard to get both of our families together in the same place, we both want to have a courthouse wedding. We want to try and film the day and be able to share it with our family so that everyone feels included!”
Rippon won a bronze medal during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. He also won season 26 of Dancing with the Stars with professional dancer and choreographer Jenna Johnson later that year. According to USA Today, Rippon is one of the creators of a figure skating-themed comedy series currently in development on NBC.
Congratulations to the happy couple!