Gay Canadian figure skater Eric Radford said he has received calls and praise from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and feels bad that fellow gay skater Adam Rippon has to deal with the opposite.
Radford made the remarks in an interview with TMZ: “I feel very lucky that I’m not Adam and I don’t have to deal with that whole political side of things. Since I won my gold medal I got a call from our prime minister and he tweeted Meagan and I on our individual and bronze medal. He’s been so supportive and kind and nice.”
Added Radford: “I give all of my support to Adam and everything that he’s doing. I’ve gotten some really touching messages from other men who aren’t out and have told me that just hearing my story has helped make them feel a little better and has helped support them in a small way.”
Radford announced his retirement late last week.
Rippon, who won his first Olympic medal last week, was attacked by Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday night for speaking out about Vice President Mike Pence’s anti-gay record.
Said Rippon earlier this week: “Being here at the Olympics it does give me a louder voice. And I’ve got a big mouth and a loud voice. But it has given me a platform. I think it’s so important that I use this platform to my advantage. I think that me using my voice has given my skating a greater purpose. I’ve gotten so many messages from young kids all over the country that my story has resonated with them and it’s incredibly powerful…In the past week I’ve heard a lot of people like, ‘whoa, Adam Rippon should tone it down.’ I can’t tone it down. I’m being me. And I’m being myself. And I’d be doing myself an injustice, and I’d be doing an injustice to those kids who don’t feel like they’re comfortable to be themselves.”
He added, talking to reporters: “I talked to you about how I felt before the Games. And you know, it’s brought a lot of attention and questions to my other teammates. I don’t want to distract from their Olympic experience and I don’t want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence.”