Canadian figure skater Eric Radford has become the first openly gay athlete to win Olympic gold. Radford, who took gold along with his pairs partner Meagan Duhamel, said, "I literally feel like I might explode with pride." Although gay men including Brian Boitano and British skater John Curry have won medals in the Olympics before, Radford, along with American Adam Rippon from Team USA, are the first to do so openly.
Radford and Rippon snapped a photo together to celebrate the victories and milestones they both achieved.
After the win, Twitter users were emotional while congratulating Radford:
First ever openly gay winter Olympian to win a gold medal is Eric Radford! Congrats!! 🏳️🌈🇨🇦🥇— dom (@doumbot) February 13, 2018
Congratulations!! 🇨🇦 Amazing! ✨✨— miffy (@miffy_1210) February 12, 2018
So proud of you and all of your team members and staffs. 😊❤️
And team Canada:
Predictably, some people questioned the relevance of an athlete's sexuality...
I don't even get why this is a headline? I'm happy for him and all the other athletes who worked and trained practically their whole lives to get there. Their sexual preference is such a non-issue! :)— Jo (@JoHoopGirl) February 12, 2018
A surprising exchange may have already changed one mind about the significance of Radford's and Rippon's achievements:
Why does his sexuality matter? He is an athlete that won a medal.— GeorgeAdventure (@georgeadventure) February 12, 2018
I PROMISE you the IOC will not take his medal because he is gay.
Honest answer, with genuine respect: it matters to people legitimately afraid of losing jobs or getting abused if they are open about being gay. When someone can reach the top of their field without hiding, that gives hope.— Matthew Palumbo, MBA (@MattGPalumbo) February 12, 2018
... I'm lost for words. Never saw it like this. I'm humbled...— GeorgeAdventure (@georgeadventure) February 12, 2018
My friend I'm 2000% humbled. You opened my eyes to a struggle I never EVER gave consideration to... again I'm humbled. Thank you...— GeorgeAdventure (@georgeadventure) February 12, 2018
Good Lord. I believe you and I just had a civil exchange of ideas on Twitter. Do you want to call the Nobel committee, or should I ;)— Matthew Palumbo, MBA (@MattGPalumbo) February 12, 2018
Though competitors, both Eric and Adam represented one team long left out of Olympic sports:
H/T - Twitter