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Out gay figure skater Timothy LeDuc and skating partner named to World Championship

Almost one year to the day Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc won the U.S. Pairs Championship, they were selected to represent the U.S. in Montreal.

2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships - Day 4
Ashley Cain-Gribble (left) and Timothy LeDuc skate in the Pairs Short Program during the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Greensboro Coliseum on January 23, 2020 in Greensboro, N.C.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It did not look good for reigning U.S. champions Timothy LeDuc and his pairs figure skating partner Ashley Cain-Gribble last week, after costly mistakes knocked them out of contention for top honors. What a difference from this week in 2019, when the openly gay skater and his partner won the U.S. Pairs figure skating championship.

But by Sunday night, their fears were dashed: LeDuc and Cain-Gribble are headed to Montreal in March to represent the U.S. at the World Championship.

As Dallas Voice reported, their uncharacteristic errors on the ice during Thursday’s short program left them languishing in third place. On Saturday afternoon, resolved to defend their title in the final Pairs competition, they once again fell victim to mistakes and finished in fourth place.

Typically, spots on the world team are determined by the top finishers at Nationals. But instead of selecting the silver and bronze finalists, U.S. Figure Skating officials chose the Dallas-based team of LeDuc and Cain-Gribble.

LeDuc posted a thank you to their coaches, family and fans, on Facebook.

Hey everyone thank you for the love and support this last week! Ashley and I are very grateful and humbled to be named...

Posted by Timothy LeDuc on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

“Hey everyone thank you for the love and support this last week! Ashley and I are very grateful and humbled to be named to the World Championship team and to continue to progress this season. We didn’t have the Nationals we wanted or trained for, but we’re learning that Champions weather the storm and don’t give up.

“Many thanks to our coaches for their hard work!

“And shout out to my v cool fam for their unconditional coolness.”

2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships - Day 6
Jessica Calalang, left, and Brian Johnson skate in the Pairs Free skate during the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Greensboro Coliseum on January 25, 2020 in Greensboro, N.C.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

LeDuc and Cain-Gribble displaced Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson despite what NBC Sports called their breakthrough moment, “one of the most memorable free skates in the last 20 years.” Calalang and Johnson received a score of 146.01, the highest ever at nationals, for a program that had the crowd out of its seats before it even ended.

Calalang and Johnson are scheduled to take part at Four Continents next month in Seoul, South Korea, where they can only hope to better impress U.S. Figure Skating’s International Selection Committee.

Figure Skating: US Figure Skating Championships 2020
Amber Glenn performs during the Senior Ladies Free Skate at Greensboro Coliseum Complex in N.C.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Another surprising outcome at nationals, according to Dallas Voice: out U.S. figure skater Amber Glenn’s free skate landed her in fifth place, but USFS still advanced Glenn to the U.S. ladies team. She also will compete at the international Four Continents Championships. Glenn came out as bisexual/pansexual last month.