Eric Radford could still win a 2022 Olympic medal & stick it to Vladimir Putin in the process

Eric Radford could still win a 2022 Olympic medal & stick it to Vladimir Putin in the process

You are currently viewing Eric Radford could still win a 2022 Olympic medal & stick it to Vladimir Putin in the process
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Eric Radford, 39, made history when he became the first out gay male Winter Olympian to win a gold medal at the 2018 Games.

Six years later, our favorite Canadian figure skating zaddy may soon enjoy another Olympic first, although this case is a bit more complicated.

But we will try to explain it!

First, the background: Radford and his partner, Vanessa James, competed in the 2022 Beijing Games.

They participated in the pairs free skate segment of the team event, finishing fourth.

Russia won the event, largely thanks to skating prodigy Kamila Valieva, who racked up 20 points.

Olympic viewers may remember there was a whirlwind of controversy surrounding Valieva, due to her positive test for a banned substance (trimetazidine). Russia was engulfed in a major doping scandal, and athletes competed as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Only 15 years old at the time, arbiters allowed Valieva to skate in the competition, despite her positive test result. The Court of Arbitration for Sport defended its ruling by saying that removing Valieva from competition would’ve severely impacted her mental health.

But now, the CAS is changing its sympathetic tune. The body recently issued a four-year ban to Valieva from competitive skating, backdated to when she submitted her positive sample in December 2021. As a result, the CAS erased her results from the Beijing Olympics.

With those changes, Russia dropped from first to third, just one point ahead of Canada.

That’s when things get messy.

Though Valieva’s points were removed, other teams didn’t gain additional points. The Canadian Olympic Committee is appealing that decision, arguing they should be one point ahead in third place, with extra scores added to account for Valieva’s removal.

As Outsports mentions, that means Radford could be awarded his fourth Olympic medal. In addition to winning gold in 2018, he previously captured a silver medal and bronze.

Here at Queerty, we would be all for that! It’s always great to see a member of Team LGBTQ+ score another medal, especially at the expense of Russia, the most anti-gay country in Europe.

Plus, we would never oppose honoring Radford. He always scores at the top of our book!

Now retired, Radford has turned his attention towards coaching. He accompanied Team Canada to last year’s Pan Am Games, serving as the club’s unofficial mentor and confidante (the formal title is “athletic service officer”).

“[I now have] a totally different perspective on the behind-the-scenes of our sport,” he told “I’ve realized that as an athlete, my vision of my sport is very linear, and very selfish, as well.”

In fact, Radford says his conversation with freestyle skier Maxime Dufour-Lapointe at the Beijing Games was a turning point. At the time, she was Canada’s athletic service officer.

“It was just the two of us in the lounge and we started talking about the more philosophical, spiritual side of sport,” he said. “And how that all fits into our life, how it shaped us as people. It was a very special and memorable moment.”

With the 2026 Winter Games still two years away, it’s too early to tell if Radford will be making the trip with Team Canada. It’s also uncertain if Russian athletes will be allowed to compete for their country.

But we know that won’t be the case this summer. The International Olympic Committee suspended Russia from the Paris Games due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the CAS upheld IOC’s ban.

Au revoir, Vladimir Putin! Or should we say, “sashay away.”

The Russian dictator probably wouldn’t appreciate the RuPaul reference. He’s been trying to legislate Russia’s LGBTQ+ population out of existence for the last decade.

The first major legislative assault on LGBTQ+ folx happened in 2012, when Russia banned the “propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.”

Since then, it’s only gotten worse. In recent years, the Russian government has passed a law banning the depiction of queer life in any media, and criminalized gender transition.

At the end of 2023, Russia’s Supreme Court labeled the international LGBTQ+ movement an “extremist organization.” That sordid designation means members of LGBTQ+ organizations could be imprisoned for 10 years, and displaying queer symbols, such as the Pride flag, could result in a sentence of up to four years.

Undoubtedly, Putin would be apocalyptic if Russia is forced to surrender any Olympic medals, especially to a gay icon like Radford.

Here’s hoping it happens! Fingers crossed.


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