With the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships wrapping up on Sunday, the field of competitors earmarked for the 2022 Winter Olympics gained some clarity. And, much like last year’s games in Tokyo, it is shaping up to be a historic moment for LGBTQ representation.
A record seven LGBTQ athletes, including the first ever out non-binary Winter Olympian, are set to represent their countries as they vie for Olympic figure skating gold in Beijing, including a number of last week’s top performers.
Team USA named out skaters Jason Brown and Timothy LeDuc to the Olympic squad on Sunday to compete in men’s singles and pairs respectively. 2022 marks the second Olympic Games for Brown, who won a team bronze medal at the 2014 Games. It will also be the first Olympics where the 2015 national champion will compete as an out gay man. Brown came out during Pride month 2021.
LeDuc is making history all their own by joining Team USA. The decorated pairs skater is the first publicly out non-binary athlete ever named to an Olympic team and will be the first to compete at the Games next month.
LeDuc and skating partner Ashley Cain-Gribble secured their spot with a record-breaking performance in Nashville, claiming their second national title together in four years.
Out skater Amber Glenn was named as an alternate for the U.S. women’s singles squad. The 2021 national silver medalist was forced to withdraw from last week’s competition after contracting Covid-19.
The trio join an international coalition of out skaters in breaking barriers for LGBTQ visibility at the Winter Games. Team Canada’s Eric Radford and Paul Poirier are both set for their third Olympic Games.
Poirier captured his second Canadian championship in ice dancing earlier this month while Radford will look to add to Olympic medal total in Beijing. Radford holds three Olympic medals, including a team gold.
Cizeron enters the Beijing Games as the reigning ice dancing silver medalist and one of the most successful ice dancing competitors in recent history.
In 2018 there were three publicly out figure skaters at the Olympics; In 2014 there were zero.
A number of out coaches will also be present in Beijing next month. Most recognizable among those names is groundbreaking Olympian Adam Rippon. Rippon made history in 2018, becoming the first out gay man to compete at the Winter Olympics. He returns to the Olympics as the coach of reigning U.S. champion Mariah Bell.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser returns to the Winter Games ready to lead Brown and Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu to stellar performances. Two-time Olympian Jorik Hendrikx will coach his sister, Belgium’s Leona Hendrikx, and Romain Haguenauer will look to lead Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis to another Olympic podium.