Eric Radford says he’s “lucky” that he doesn’t have to deal with political pressure like Adam Rippon.
The Canadian took home gold with his partner Meagan Duhamel in team figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, becoming the first openly gay male athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
But while they received overwhelming support from back home, Adam’s bronze medal win for Team USA at the same event was overshadowed by his political comments about the Trump administration.
“I feel very lucky that I’m not Adam and I don’t have to deal with that whole political side of things,” Eric told TMZ.
“Since I won my gold medal, I got a call from our Prime Minister [Justin Trudeau], and he tweeted Meagan and I on our individual bronze medal, and he’s been so supportive and kind and nice.
“I give all my support to Adam in everything that he’s doing, especially in the skating world.”
Eric also spoke about the “touching messages” he’s received from other gay men who are still in the closet and have been inspired by his success.
“Im gonna try and get Adam and the guys together and maybe head down to Pride House and spend a bit of time there and soak up that really positive energy there,” he added.
As the first openly gay male athletes from Team USA to make it to the Winter Olympics, freeskier Gus Kenworthy and figure skater Adam Rippon are helping to fly the flag for the LGBTQ community in turbulent times.
The #OpeningCeremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way! I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I'm so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence. #TeamUSA #TeamUSGay ????????????️????
Considering his terrible track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights, it’s more than understandable that Adam and Gus were less than impressed by Vice President Mike Pence’s role as leader of the US delegation.
Adam – who became the first ever openly gay man from the United States to qualify for the Winter Olympics earlier this year – had some choice words about Donald Trump’s second in command during a recent interview.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon said to USA Today.
“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick.
“I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.”
Rippon added: “I don’t think he has a real concept of reality. To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory.
“If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘shitholes,’ I think he should really go to church.”