Canada's Eric Radford becomes first openly gay athlete to win Winter Olympics gold

The team figure skating event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, was historic at almost every level.

While Team USA’s Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon made headlines— Nagasu for becoming the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics, Rippon for landing the first medal for a red, white and blue LGBT athlete — it was a Canadian who left the most lasting mark on the ice.

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Canadian figure skater Eric Radford
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Canadian figure skater Eric Radford
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 12: Gold medalists Eric Radford of Team Canada celebrates during the medal ceremony after the Figure Skating Team Event at Medal Plaza on February 12, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, Pyeongchang- FEBRUARY 9 - Meagan Duhamel soars as Eric Radford waits in the in the pairs in PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating team event at the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Gangneung in Pyeongchang in South Korea. February 9, 2018. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada compete in the Figure Skating Team Event Pairs Free Skating during the Figure Skating on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada compete in the Figure Skating Team Event Pairs Free Skating during the Figure Skating on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Canada's Eric Radford compete in the figure skating team event pair skating free skating during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada compete in the Figure Skating Team Event � Pairs Free Skating on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Canada's Meagan Duhamel (centre R) and Canada's Eric Radford react after competing in the figure skating team event pair skating free skating during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada react after competing in the Figure Skating Team Event � Pairs Free Skating on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Eric Radford became the first openly gay Olympic champion in the history of the Winter Games, by virtue of his role among Canada’s gold medalists in team figure skating. He and partner Meagan Duhamel took the top spot in the pairs free skate program with their show-stopping routine set to Adele’s “Hometown Glory.”

Radford joined Australian diver Matthew Mitcham as the only openly gay Olympic champions to date. Mitcham earned gold in the 10-meter platform at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The 33-year-old Radford, who hails from tiny Balmertown, Ontario, celebrated his success with Rippon after the two received their respective medals.

This isn’t the first Olympic medal for Radford. He took home a silver from the 2014 Sochi Games for his role on Canada’s second-place team figure skating squad.  About 10 months later, Radford came out publicly as gay in an interview with Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler.

He’s one of 14 openly gay athletes competing in PyeongChang, but thanks to his superb skating in South Korea, he’s the only one from that group who can claim to be the first with winter gold.

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