Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Snowing out #LGBT #sport

Well there is snow in the air and the winter sports season is upon us once more, or course earlier in the year we had the Winter Olympics in Sochi under the anti-LGBT administration of Russia. At the time I pointed out the few LGB Winter Olympians that were present.

However, one we didn't know about actually won a medal.

Radford with partner Meagan Duhamel in Sochi
Canadian pairs skater Eric Radford (right) has recently come out as gay, or in his words the ultimate pairs boy as there is no danger of him forming an off-ice relationship with his partner. He told Out magazine:

"My concern was that I would be known as 'the gay athlete' if I came out at the Olympics, rather than 'Eric the medalling figure skater who happens to be gay'. And I felt uncomfortable with that title."
The guy is a strong competitor, during the short programme of the 2011 World he finished a routine with blood pouring from his nose after his partner Meagan Duhamel's elbow coming in contact with him. This was from here descent from a twist the first element in the routine. Despite his nose being broken he took part the following day in the free programme and the pair finished 7th.  He and Duhamel have apparently been practising a quad thrown Salchow to unleash this year to improve on their bronze medal in the last two World Championships.

His coming out adds a silver to the medal tally of team LGB from Sochi adding to the 2 golds (one for team) and 3 silvers of Ireen Wüst (NED) in speed skating.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the world of Winter Sport Australia have added a gay man to their bobsleigh team. Rugby player Simon Dunn is currently in Calgary training with the upcoming season and hoping to make the team for 2018 in South Korea.

He told SameSame:

"I love competing in bobsleigh. The adrenaline rush. Using my strengths from rugby and excelling in a different sport. I love representing my country. And I'm also proud of the fact that I'm the first out gay man in the sport to do so!"

He has even been spotted post pictures of himself in his skin suit (see left). Though I think it would be best if he did it up when competing not just to save the poor guy from an awful chill but also to enhance the aerodynamics.

Of course the cross over from running events to bobsleigh is not new as many teams search other sports for the explosive athletes that can give the push off the start blocks that are so important for sliding events.

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