Although the Winter Olympics has never shied away from making records, a new type of record was just broken. Two male figure skaters are the first openly-gay Olympians to win gold and bronze medals.
Canadian figure skater Eric Radford won a gold medal for pairs free skate performance with his partner, Meagan Duhamel. American figure skater, Adam Rippon, won a bronze medal for his free skate performance in the team competition.
Not only have they brought fame to their home countries, but they have also brought a sense of pride to the LGBTQ community.
Radford tweeted, “This is amazing! I literally feel like I might explode with pride.” He also went on to post a photo on Instagram saying, “So proud to be wearing these medals and showing the world what we can do.”
In addition to making a difference in the Olympics, they are also taking politicals strides.
According to The Guardian, “Rippon’s team claim to have turned down approaches from Pence’s team for the two to meet – although Pence’s team have disputed this.”
Despite each year bringing more and more acceptance of others, being an openly-gay athlete is a huge deal and encourages others to continue following their dream.
CNN believes, “recognizing LGBTQ athletes helps normalize their presence and inspire those who identify with them. They can encourage others to come out so that one day it won’t be such a big deal that they are participating in international sports events.”
Helix junior, Julie Doan, is “very proud for these men for competing despite the odds against them.”