For U.S. skaters, the ice serves as refuge

“I’ve always sort of been unabashedly myself and always spoken my mind and from the heart. And you know what, I think America’s just catching on,” he said. “The other day I was joking to one of my friends. He was like, ‘You’re everywhere right now.’ I was like, ‘I know, I’m like America’s sweetheart.’ And he just laughed in my face because what you think of as sort of the American people embracing, I don’t really think I, on paper, really embody much of any of that sort of perceived persona. And I think maybe that’s what people are kind of latching onto, that my story’s different. That I’m different, and I think on some level we all feel sort of different and when we are embraced for who we are and speaking our minds it’s awesome.