There have been at least 39 gay men to compete in figure skating at the Winter Olympic Games over the years, with eight publicly out men competing in 2022. LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton has identified these men over the years, including a painstaking process of identifying who is gay.
These gay men have combined for 15 Olympic medals, with several ready to compete in pairs figure skating later this week. Five other gay athletes have been named as alternates.
In addition to the 37 gay men, Timothy LeDuc is nonbinary and will make their Olympic debut this week. Scupham-Bilton has identified only two LGBTQ women to compete in figure skating at the Olympics: Fumie Suguri, who came out as bisexual in 2014 and competed in two Olympics, and Kaitlyn Weaver.
Six of the gay men to compete have won Olympic gold medals:
Ondrej Nepela, 1972
Robin Cousins, 1980
John Curry, 1976
Brian Boitano, 1988
Eric Radford, 2018
Guillaume Cizeron, 2022
Various men have won another Olympic medal, including:
Toller Cranston, bronze 1976
Brian Orser, silver, 1984
Brian Orser, silver, 1988
Rob McCall, bronze 1988
Timothy Goebel, bronze, 2002
Jeff Buttle, bronze 2006
Eric Radford, silver, 2014
Jason Brown, bronze, 2014
Guillaume Cizeron, silver, 2018
Adam Rippon, bronze, 2018
Eric Radford, bronze, 2018
Boitano and Orser were one of the hottest topics of the 1988 Winter Olympics, dubbed the Battle of the Brians.
Of all the competitors, Radford is the most-decorated, with a gold, silver and bronze. Only two others — fellow Canadian Brian Orser and French ice dancer Guillaume Cizeron — have won multiple Olympic medals. Orser is also the coach of multiple successful Olympians, including Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.
Other notables include NBC’s star commentator Johnny Weir, as well as Randy Gardner, who recently released a documentary about his life, Go Figure.
Even with all of these LGBTQ athletes, none had been publicly out at the Olympics until 2018, though there’s a debate about Weir.
Scupham-Bilton has not fully updated his list of LGBTQ Olympians to include 2022, but you can find his list on his Queerstory Files blog. He says he’ll be updating his full lists of LGBTQ Olympians later this year.