TIME revealed their annual 100 Most Influential List earlier today. Among the global leaders, celebrities, chief executives, titans and world-class athletes who made the cut was Adam Rippon. If that wasn’t an honor enough, he also received a glowing introduction by none other than Cher. The 71-year-old entertainer gushed about Rippon and that infamous harness he wore to the Academy Awards.
“All figure skaters are beautiful, but Adam Rippon is different. He isn’t just a beautiful skater. He has humility, grace and an incredible sense of humor.
You could see in the leather-harness suit he wore to the Academy Awards that he isn’t afraid to take chances. It wasn’t about the suit, really. It was about the fact that he dares to be different in a world where being different always comes with a cost. I thought it was fabulous, of course.
Adam is a skater who happens to be gay, and that represents something wonderful to young people. When I was young, I had no role models—everyone looked like Sandra Dee and Doris Day. There was nobody who made me think, Oh, I could be like them. They represent me. Adam shows people that if you put blood, sweat and tears into what you’re doing, you can achieve something that’s special. You can be special. And I think that’s very brave.”
For more about this year’s TIME 100, head over to the official website.