Metro Weekly

Winter Olympics 2018: Canadian Eric Radford makes history as LGBTQ athletes have strong opening weekend

Radford became the first ever gay man to win a Winter Olympics gold medal, as lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes had a strong showing during the first weekend of the Winter Games

Adam Rippon and Eric Radford — Photo: Eric Radford / Instagram

LGBTQ athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics had a strong showing during the first weekend of the Games.

Only seven of the 14 out athletes have competed so far in the games, but three LGBTQ athletes have already won medals in their events, according to a tally by Outsports.

Canada’s Eric Radford and United States’ Adam Rippon both took home medals in team event figure skating — Rippon received bronze and Radford received gold.

Radford has made history, not only as the first gay man to win a Winter Olympic medal (a title he shares with Rippon), but also as the first gay man to win gold at the Winter Games.

Rippon’s win is particularly enjoyable, as it comes after Fox News’ vice president penned an op-ed arguing that the U.S. Olympic team was too gay to win any medals.

Meanwhile, Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst won silver in her 3,000-meter race, narrowly losing out on gold by just .08 seconds, while Swedish ice hockey player Emilia Andersson Ramboldt played 21 minutes to help her team best Japan in a 2-1 opener.

There are many more chances to see LGBTQ athletes win medals, including Gus Kenworthy, whose Freeski Slopestyle event begins on Saturday.

The strong opening weekend for out LGBTQ  athletes comes after almost half of those who competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio took home a medal.

Of the 53 out LGBTQ athletes that competed in Brazil, 47% won a medal, including 10 gold medals — four of which were awarded to members of the United States’ women’s basketball team.

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