Adam Rippon celebrated his birthday and continued Team USA’s streak of American men winning a medal in every grand prix this season with a silver at the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday.
Rippon, 28, leaped from fourth place in the short program to the silver medal with a stellar free skate program to “Arrival of the Birds” from the “Crimson Wing” soundtrack and “O” by Coldplay. The silver medal is his highest grand prix finish, eclipsing a pair of bronze medals he won at Skate America and Trophee de France in Paris in 2016.
He barely missed landing a clean quadruple Lutz to kick off his free skate.
Rippon, the 2016 U.S. champion, returned to competition in Finland last month for the first time in 10 months after suffering a broken foot that prevented him from defending his national title last January.
“This injury isn’t career-ending, and it’s very low on the spectrum of severity of injuries that people have come back from,” Rippon said at the time.
He was ranked No. 2 in the U.S. at the time behind Nathan Chen, and No. 6 internationally following the Grand Prix Final.
Chen won the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow in the initial Grand Prix of the season, and Max Aaron placed third at the Cup of China last week.
Rippon, from South Abington, Pennsylvania, finished with 261.99 points, second to Russia’s Sergei Voronov, who led after the short program and scored 271.12. Rippon was the lead skater in the final group of five and had to wait anxiously until the rest of the top skaters finished.
An alternate for the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, Rippon is the only man to win back-to-back world junior titles, doing so in 2008 and 2009.
Team USA’s Jason Brown, who was third after the short program with a score of 85.36, finished fourth after two falls in his free skate. He scored 245.95 overall.
Mirai Nagasu finished fourth and Mariah Bell placed ninth in the ladies competition, and the pairs team of Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim finished fifth.
The competition concludes Saturday night with ice dancing’s free skate, where Team USA’s Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are in second place with 76.31 points after the short program, behind Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who lead with 80.92 points.