Olympic figure skater comes out

omeara.gifGay.com has an interview with former Olympic figure skater Ryan O’Meara, who apparently came out in an Arizona magazine recently (I couldn’t find anything about it on Google). Anyhow, O’Meara was on the 2006 U.S. Olympic team for ice dancing; he and his partner, Jamie Silverstein (a woman, as the Olympics don't allow same-sex partners), finished 16th in Torino.

Asked about gays in figure skating, O’Meara said that who’s gay in figure skating is not that important; probably true on a couple levels:

Within the skating community, it's very public knowledge of who's gay and who's not; it's pretty small. I don't think it's publicized because I don't think it's that important. Which is understandable, since it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight to be a figure skater. But I don't know why there aren't more out skaters. Most of them are out to the community, so I think it's more of a privacy issue.

Unfortunately, either Gay.com didn’t ask him about Johnny Weir, or O'Meara wouldn’t answer.

O’Meara is now looking toward a career in interior design. A lot of gay people look for out male athletes to “break stereotypes.” Then there are athletes like O’Meara who reinforce them; and I think that’s great. Gay athletes are just as diverse as we’d like to hope the larger gay population is, and I love seeing stories like this that remind us of that. I just don’t know how we missed him in our Olympics coverage in 2006. I mean, he ditched hockey for figure skating, and his favorite TV show is Will & Grace! –Cyd Zeigler jr.

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