Olympian figure skater Eric Radford champions Canadian Gay Curling Championships

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by .

Canadian Olympian champion figure skater Eric Radford loves performing on the ice: in addition to being a six-time Canadian national champion (2012-2017) and two-time world champion (2015-2016) with his pairs partner Meagan Duhamel, Radford loves curling and will take part in the 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships in Montréal, the city the Winnipeg-born Radford now calls home.

curling_les_phenixOrganized by Montréal’s increasingly popular Les Fous du Roi and Les Phénix curling clubs, the 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships will be held in conjunction with The King’s Quest bonspiel at the Town of Mount-Royal Curling Club from February 10 to 12. The championships and bonspiel will welcome Canada’s nine growing LGBTQ curling leagues, and Radford explains why he is looking forward to competing.

Eric Radford Q&A

Job: Figure skater

Favourite pastime: Playing the piano

Why do you love curling?

I think in a lot of small towns across Canada that curling is in our culture, and curling has a totally different pace and energy than figure skating. I love how it combines skill with strategy and teamwork. It’s a great sport.

Why take part in the 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships? 

It’s a very big and competitive sporting event. For me, I feel lucky to be a part of a different sport than I am used to,  and as a member of Les Fous du Roi league I like that I can help give exposure to curling in Montréal and across the country.

Why is it fun to be a member of a gay curling club? What is the camaraderie like?

It is an opportunity to be part of a community, to make new friends, just to get to talk about things totally different than the skating world. I love having a circle of friends outside the world of figure skating.

Do you have a favourite memory from the 2017 Canadian Figure Skating Championships?

It was nice to have a good skate but I really had a moment watching (fellow Canadian skater and three-time world champion) Patrick (Chan) skate his program to my music, especially when he has a great skate like that. It was emotional.

Why did you become a figure skater?

I used to watch figure skating on television when I was a kid and I was naturally attracted to it. It was Nancy Kerrigan’s long program during the 1992 Olympics that sparked my passion for skating. It reminded me of flying, because when I was younger I was obsessed with planes and flying. I wanted to be a pilot. But watching skater fly around the ice and do the jumps– it all just happened like that.

Have you skated at Montréal’s Atrium Le 1000 indoor skating rink in the 1000 De la Gauchetiere skyscraper?

I was there recently for a photo shoot and have skated there a couple times. I love the Atrium, it’s awesome to have a space like that downtown where people can skate indoors all year-round, and with all that natural light!

Why was it important for you to publicly come out in 2014, at the top of your game?

I felt I had an opportunity to use my success as a figure skater to help influence, support and inspire young gay people – not just young gay athletes. Had I known LGBTQ role models when I was younger it would have made a big difference to me. So I have the opportunity to try and be that for other people. I was comfortable in my life and felt ready to do it. I have gotten so many amazing messages from people around the world, it has become a non-issue which is what I was hoping it would become.

What is the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year?

I skated / modelled in a fashion show in New York in early February for the New York Men’s Fashion Week, for a Montréal company called Samuelsohn. It was so much fun, they even painted my hair silver, so I got a preview of what I will be like in a few years!

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What’s your favourite Montréal restaurant?

One of the best meals I’ve ever had was at Europea on Rue de la Montagne, and a restaurant I always bring visiting friends to is Ferrari on Bishop Street.

Where do you like to go for drinks and socialize with friends?

I like going out with my friends in the Gay Village, I like supporting the businesses and restaurants around there. Of all the cities I’ve been to around the world, Montréal has one of the best Gay Villages.

patinoire_vieux-portWhat’s the one thing anyone visiting Montréal should absolutely do?

Stroll around the Old Port and Old Montréal. It’s so unique in North America, it really is like taking a time machine into history.

The 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships and The King’s Quest bonspiel will be held February 10 to 12 at the Town of Mount-Royal Curling Club.

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