Eric Radford - Canadian Olympic Gold Medallist speaks about inclusion and the LGBTQ Community
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Eric Radford won two medals with partner Meagan Duhamel at PyeongChang 2018, helping Canada win gold in the team event, followed by a bronze medal in the pairs event. He a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee's #OneTeam imitative which promotes inclusion in sport. Read his full biography on the Olympic Team Canada's Website Olympic.ca
He is also an accomplished pianist and actually composed the scores that Meagan Duhamel and Himself skated to in their 2013-2014 short program, as well as the music Patrick Chan skated to for his free skate performance in 2016 - 2017.
Look out for him on Season 6 of the Battle of the Blades!
"As an adult, I can look back on my childhood and see these kids were bullying me because they really didn’t know any better. It came down to a lack of education."
Exert from his interview with SPORTSNET:
"In December 2014, I decided to come out publicly as a gay athlete in Outsports magazine. I had never felt compelled to talk about my sexuality before because I believed it was a non-issue.
But I put myself in the position of a young kid, who might be afraid to follow their own dream. Or maybe they just want to get out of their own small town and do something in the world. If that young kid was able to see someone on TV — someone similar to myself, who was openly gay and winning medals — then maybe that would give them the confidence to feel it was truly possible for them.
It could help anyone. It doesn’t have to be sexuality — it can just be about being or feeling different in general.
I realized that by speaking out, I could make a difference. No other gay figure skater had come out at the height of his career. I realized that the only way to normalize it was to speak out. To me, being Olympic is about being your best both on and off the ice — for yourself and for others. I was at the point in my life and in my career where it made sense. I was surrounded by amazing people and friends. My fear of coming out wasn’t as strong as my desire to get my story out there.
That doesn’t mean it was easy. The day the interview came out I was filled with insecurity and I was second-guessing my decision. What if this affects opportunities in the future? What if I lose a sponsorship because I decided to come out? What if this affects the way judges see me at competitions? People can be ruthless and they can create their own idea of you as a person, based on an article. I was worried that it might not unfold the way I had wanted it to in my head.
But I also knew that having someone like that to look up to when I was young — especially an Olympian — would have made a huge difference."
Read Full Article Here - SPORTSNET.CA