By BARRY WILNER
AP Sports Writer
So it’s just another competition? Got to treat the Winter Olympics that way? Many athletes say that, perhaps trying to convince themselves that the Games are a regular event. Adam Rippon even used that ploy back in 2018. Then Rippon — and the sporting world — discovered something very different. Rippon, who came out publicly in October 2015, was the first openly gay athlete to win a medal for the United States in the Winter Olympics. His highly publicized verbal battles with then-Vice President Mike Pence about open-mindedness and inclusivity were as memorable as nearly anything anyone did on the ice or snow in Pyeongchang.