OG

Eric RADFORD

Avenging the past

Gay, and an Olympic champion
ERIC RADFORD CAN FIGURE SKATING 1985-

From a mining village in northwest Ontario, Eric Radford suffered bullying and harassment during his childhood. The reason: he was the only boy who preferred figure skating to ice hockey!

He admits to not having had many friends, not understanding why his love of the sport should elicit such hatred.

As an adolescent, he left his village to pursue a career in his sport. A thought occurred to him: it seemed to him that he was the only gay in the world. Until he was 15, he felt there was nothing and no one he could look to as a role model. But then he made the acquaintance of his coach, Paul Wirtz. This was the first gay person he had met, and this was when he understood that he had no need to feel shame.

The next step in his career was his first appearance at the Olympics, in 2014 in Sochi, where he won a silver medal in the new team event. At the end of the year, he decided to speak publicly for the first time about his homosexuality.

He realised that by speaking out he could make a difference, as no other gay figure skater had to date come out at the height of their career. He realised that the only way to achieve normality was to speak out in public.

In 2018, in PyeongChang, he entered the history books by becoming the first openly gay medal-winner in the team event. He also won bronze in the pairs competition, with his partner Meagan Duhamel. His greatest reward, however, was undoubtedly the fact that he knew that his personal journey had led to changes in mindset in his home village, which holds a Gay Pride parade and has named a street after him.

The truth behind Eric Radford's golden journey

Sochi 2014

PyeongChang 2018

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Photo credits

Towards greater Equality

Home page
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Missouri Historical Society

1896 - 1936

Charlotte Cooper
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Halet Cambel
Unknown rights

Lina Radke
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Suzanne Lenglen
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Alice Millat
Bibliothèque Nationale de France / Agence Rol (public domain)
Glasshouse Images / Alamy Stock Photo
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Clara Zetkin
Wikimedia Creative Commons (public domain)

Emmeline Pankhurst
Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Shawshots / Alamy Stock Photo
Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Library of Congress (public domain)

Annette Kellermann
General Photographic Agency / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Library of Congress (public domain)

Gertrude Ederlé
General Photographic Agency / Getty Images
Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
NY Daily News / Getty Images
Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

1936 - 1976

Billie Jean King
Central Press / Getty Images
Getty Images
Keystone / Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons (public domain)

Eleanor Roosevelt
Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo
Fox Photos / Getty Images
Keystone / Getty Images
World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Enriqueta Basilio
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The History Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Fanny Blankers-Koen
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Giuliana Chenal Minuzzo
Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI)
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Magazine Avanguardia (public domain)

Kathrine Switzer
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images
Getty Images
Sports Illustrated / Getty Images

Simone De Beauvoir
Gallimard
Keystone / Getty Images
Sygma / Getty Images

1976 - 2004

Anita De Frantz
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Annie Sugier
Annie Sugier
Centre Simone de Beauvoir (video)
Linda Weil-Curiel
Service photographique du Palais de l’Elysée
Soudeh Rad

Birgit Fischer
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Hassiba Boulmerka
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Lida Fariman
AFP / Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Nawal El Moutawakel
Bongarts / Getty Images
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

2004 – 2019

Charlotte Girard
Getty Images

Lindsey Van
Getty Images

Mary Kom
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Monique Lamoureux
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Robina Muqimyar
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Inna Schevchenko
Alamy Stock Photo
Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons / FEMEN Women's Movement
WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Malala Yousafzai
Alamy Stock Photo
Getty Images

Ada Hegerberg
AFP / Getty Images
Getty Images

Pauline Ado
Getty Images
ZUMA Press Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo


Towards greater Respect

1896 - 1936

George Poage
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
La Crosse Public Library
Murphy Library / University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Missouri Historical Society

Jesse Owens
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The Ohio State University

Jack Johnson
Getty Images
Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
The Protected Art Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Ullstein Bild / Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Bettmann Archive (domaine public)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Library of Congress (domaine public)

Alfonso Brown
Agence Meurisse / Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Gamma-Keystone / Getty Images
Getty Images

Marcus Garvey
Gado Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Getty Images
Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
History and Art Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
Wikimedia Creative Commons (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Grantham Bain Collection (public domain)
World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

1936 - 1976

Mohammed Ali
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / New-York World-Telegram and Sun Newspaper (public domain)

Abebe Bikila
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 
Getty Images

Tommie Smith
Archivio Angelo Cozzi / Mondadori Portfolio / Getty Images
Corbis / Getty Images
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 
Olympic Channel (video)
Paris Match / Getty Images

Sharon et Shirley Firth
Canadian Ski Museum
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 
Sharon et Shirley Firth / Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
The Canadian Press

Jackie Robinson
Corbis / Getty Images
Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Kansas City Call Newspaper, United States Library of Congress (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Library of Congress (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Mint (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / US National Archives and Records Administration (public domain)

Martin Luther King
Getty Images
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Birmingham AL Police Department (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / Plain Dealer Newspaper (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / US National Archives and Records Administration (public domain)
Wikimedia Creative Commons / White House Photo Office (public domain)

Harvey Milk
Alamy Stock Photo
Ted Sahl Collection / San José State University Special Collections and Archives
ZUMA Press Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

1976 - 2004

Alwyn Morris
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The Canadian Press

Cathy Freeman
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

Martina Navratilova
Alamy Stock Photo
Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Keystone Pictures USA / Alamy Stock Photo
NY Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Nelson Mandela
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

2004 – 2019

Rohullah Nikpai
AFP / Getty Images
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

Tom Daley
Getty Images
Instagram and Facebook / Tom Daley Official
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

Feyisa Lilesa
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

Eric Radford
A Plus Creative
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 
Olympic Channel (video)

Stefany Hernandez
Getty Images
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 
Peace and Sport (video)

Stefany Hernandez
Chris Mosier
Ashley Hamm
Getty Images
Javier Diaz Martos
Olympic Channel (video)
Zhen Heinemann

Colin Kaepernick
Getty Images

Barack Obama
Getty Images
White House Photo Office (public domain)

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