The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics has seen more than just tremendous displays of athletic vigor and grit. More than ever before, Olympic athletes’ are open and proud about their sexuality, giving fans across the world much to commend.
2018 Olympic gold medalist, Eric Radford, who publicly came out in 2014 and is now recognized as the first openly gay man to win an Olympic gold medal, offers insight to us all in sharing his personal reflection of what ‘Olympic’ means to him. Captured by Canada’s Sportsnet, Radford states:
“What does it mean to be Olympic? To me it’s about courage. It’s about grace and excellence in the face of judgment. We’re all judged by others from the time we’re young: for how we look, how we talk, what we do. Our success is determined by how we decide to respond to it. We can let it bring us down — or we can find the courage to believe in ourselves and to follow our dreams.”
Responding to judgment with courage and pride, many 2018 LGBT Olympic competitors, from across the world, are making strides as they find the courage to conquer athletic feat and strive towards public openness and acceptance of sexuality.
A few highlights include: Canada’s openly gay, Eric Radford, securing the gold in team figure skating; America’s openly gay, Adam Rippon, winning the bronze in men’s free skate team event; and Netherland’s, openly bisexual, Ireen Wüst, winning a record-breaking tenth gold medal in the Women’s 1500m race. Swiss snowboarder, Simona Meiler, and Australian snowboarder, Belle Brockhoff, also compete bravely with a mission to beat discrimination and be proud of who they are as athletes and people.
Their triumphs inspire beyond athletic achievement…
It is through these Olympic athletes, and many alike, who find the courage to be open and prideful of their sexuality, that us fans can celebrate displays of both athletic excellence and personal excellence. Our 2018 Olympic role models inspire a willingness to be true to ourselves and prideful of who we are, our whole-selves and all our accomplishments.
To learn more, check out the sources we consulted: