U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon earned a bronze medal in his Olympic debut on Monday, but his free-skating routine left some spectators wondering why he didn’t place even higher than two skaters who fell during their routines.
Canadian skater Patrick Chan and Mikhail Kolyada, an Olympic athlete from Russia — both of whom fell during their performance — placed first and second, respectively. It led some viewers to complain that Rippon had been robbed of a gold or silver medal.
But Chan and Kolyada completed more challenging jumps and spins that added up to a higher score, even after factoring in the one-point deduction for falling. While Rippon skated cleanly, he did not perform a quadruple jump, a challenging move that requires four turns.
That jump has been a point of controversy before. In the 2010 winter Olympics, U.S. skater Evan Lysacek won a gold medal without completing a quadruple jump, drawing criticism from Russian skater Yevgeny Plushenko, who came in second but argued that no competitor should win Olympic gold without doing a quadruple jump.
Regardless, Rippon, the first openly gay American man to compete in the Winter Games, seemed pleased with his third-place finish.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life,” he told TIME. “Now I am actually an Olympian. They have footage, they can pull it up. Let the record show that Adam Rippon is an Olympian.”