Eric Radford earlier this year returned to pairs figure skating competition with a new partner, aiming for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. If he earns a spot for Canada, it would be his third Olympics.
Radford previously won the Olympic medal trifecta — a gold, silver and bronze — with his partner, Meagan Duhamel. For his double-medal performance in 2018, he was Outsports’ Male Athlete of the Year. He had retired from competition shortly after the Olympics.
His new partner is Vanessa James, who competed for France in the three previous Winter Olympics, with partner Morgan Ciprès. James was released by France to compete with another country. Canada — her birth country — was a natural landing spot.
So far this autumn the duo has done well on the international stage, finishing second in the Autumn Classic in September, and fourth in Skate Canada and fifth for the Finlandia Trophy both in October.
This weekend they will compete in the Internationaux de France.
Radford had previously retired from competitive figure skating, taking to the rink on professional tours with Duhamel. The allure of a third Olympics drew him back, this time with a new partner.
James has previously won a bronze at a World Championship, but never an Olympic medal.
We know of at least 69 LGBTQ athletes who have previously competed in a Winter Olympic Games. While Radford is already included in that total, we’re certainly hoping to see him compete in his third Olympics.