Last week we reported that U.S. Figure Skater Adam Rippon became the first openly gay male to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Another out gay man will be joining Rippon, but he’ll be competing for Canada.
Canadian pairs figure skater Eric Radford has qualified and will be competing with his partner Meagan Duhamel.
Radford came out in 2014 and was the first elite figure skater to come out at the height of his career. Radford and Duhamel are three-time defending Canadian pairs champions — and they won bronze at the World Championships in 2013 and 2014.
In an interview with Outsports, Radford recalled how he was teased mercilessly as a child, not only because figure skating was considered a “gay” sport but because he had a lisp. But being gay in figure skating pairs also had its advantages, Radford says:
“A lot of pairs end up dating one another. It can become risky because your on-ice training can be affected by your off-ice relationship. If you have a fight at home, it makes that training difficult. I used to joke around that I’m the ultimate pair-boy. I never had to worry about developing an off-ice relationship.”
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Radford said many in the figure skating community already knew. He and his boyfriend had been together four years, and they’re raising a daughter together.
And now they’re engaged.