Winter Olympics 2018: Eric Radford has won a bronze medal and announced his retirement
Eric Radford, who made history by becoming the first openly gay man to win gold at a Winter Olympics, has won another medal – and confirmed his retirement.
The Canadian athlete told reporters at the Pyeongchang Games that the event was his last after taking bronze in the pairs figure skating with his partner Meagan Duhamel.
“It’s the sweetest (ending) it could possibly be right now,” said the 33-year-old.
“I don’t think that there’s any better way.”
Speaking to The National Post, he revealed: “We were saying backstage… you really just want to end on a really nice note.
“That’s a small goal we have.”
On Twitter, he wrote: “It’s been fun dreaming my wildest dreams and having so many of them come true.”
“I don’t think there’ve been happier bronze medallists than we are,” added Duhamel.
Earlier this week, Radford took gold to follow in the footsteps of Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who won gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The pair secured today’s bronze medal after a disappointing seventh-place finish in Sochi four years ago.
They skated to Hometown Glory, as they did while winning gold in the team figure skating event earlier this week, and when they came first in the 2016 World Championships.
Radford and Duhamel also made skating history, as the pair pulled off the first ever clean throw quad salchow in the Olympics.
— Drew (@Nmyexperience) February 15, 2018
According to reports, after they found out they had won the bronze, Duhamel immediately went over to hug gold medal-winning German skater Aliona Savchenko.
She told Savchenko: “You did it! You did it!” and hugged her rival with a huge smile on her face.
Radford’s bronze medal follows bisexual skater Ireen Wüst becoming the most successful speed skater in Olympic history.
The Dutch speed skater teared up after winning gold in the Women’s 1500m race – a record-breaking tenth Olympic medal.
Gay skater Adam Rippon also made history earlier this week, by taking a bronze medal after performing a solo skate to Coldplay’s O and Arrival of the Birds by Cinematic Orchestra.
The Team USA athlete has emotionally paid tribute to the “overwhelming” support he’s received as one of the first openly gay men to compete at the Winter Olympics.
Rippon said that it was a huge privilege to represent LGBT people in this way.
“Being here at the Olympics does give me a louder voice,” said the skater. “It has given me a platform. It’s given me a voice to reach to young kids.”
He has also been embroiled in an ongoing spat with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the US delegation in Pyeongchang.
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Rippon challenged the Vice President’s concerning stances on LGBT equality, then suggested he would not meet with Pence.
After the skater said “I don’t want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence,” Trump mocked him online.
He wrote: “Really? Then Perhaps you shouldn’t have spent the past few weeks talking about him. I haven’t heard him mention you once???”
Pence in fact put out a statement suggesting that the athlete had misled the public and later sent a tweet claiming his allegations were “fake news”.