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Randy Gardner on being the gay half of a ‘straight’ figure skating duo

In the 1970s Gardner was coming out quietly while being forced into conversion therapy and winning National titles.

7th Annual Gold Meets Golden - Arrivals
Randy Gardner and Tai Babilonia at this year’s Gold Meets Golden.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Randy Gardner has had an incredible life, and every time I talk with him I have a hundred more questions for him. I got to ask him a few of those questions for the latest episode of Five Rings To Rule Them All.

On the episode Gardner talks about his one-man stage show, Go Figure: The Randy Gardner Story, as well as the documentary film by the same name that will be hitting the film-festival circuit this year.

Gardner talks with me about discovering his gay even as he and his figure skating partner, Tai Babilonia, were winning National Championships. As Gardner was taking aim at a World Championship, his parents put him into conversion therapy. Gardner shares a great story about how his summer in conversion therapy ended.

We also talk about their skating relationship that so many people believed, or hoped, was a romantic relationship. And Gardner details the blow-by-blow of his final moments at the Lake Placid Olympics that could have landed him an Olympic medal.

Check out my conversation with Olympian and World Champion Randy Gardner: