Pyeongchang (South Korea) (AFP) – A senior Olympic official hailed Canadian skater Eric Radford on Tuesday after he became the first openly gay man to win Winter Games gold.
After Radford said he “might explode with pride” after helping Canada to figure skating team event gold on Monday, Angelo Ruggiero, head of the IOC athletes commission called the achievement “fantastic”.
“I think it’s amazing,” Ruggiero said.
“We celebrate diversity at the IOC and that’s something that’s hopefully fundamental to what we want in Olympic values.”
Radford was not the only openly gay competitor in the team event, with bronze medallists the USA featuring 28-year-old Adam Rippon.
And the United States’ Winter Games contingent also numbered Gus Kenworthy, who went public about his sexuality in 2015.
The British-born Kenworthy claimed freestyle skiing slopestyle silver at Sochi 2014.
Ruggiero added: “I think it’s encouraging, it sends a strong message to that fundamental principle of acceptance globally. So I think it’s fantastic.”
Radford and pairs partner Meagan Duhamel earned top marks for their dance to Adele’s “Hometown Glory” after taking second in the short programme.
After the win, Radford posted on Twitter: “”This is amazing! I literally feel like I might explode with pride.”