Breathtakingly beautiful figure skating routine wins second Olympic gold for Team LGBT+

Emily Chudy February 15, 2022
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'Breathtaking' figure skating routine wins gold at Winter Olympics

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of Team France compete during the Ice Dance Free Dance on day ten of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games (Cui Nan/China News Service via Getty Images)

France has scored a gold medal for its “breathtaking” figure skating routine, the second gold achieved by LGBT+ athletes at this year’s Winter Olympics.

France’s Guillaume Cizeron, who is openly gay, and his partner Gabriella Papadakis not only won the gold medal but smashed a world record with a score of 226.98.

The pair’s win comes after they achieved a silver medal at the previous Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis were a favourite to win gold in 2018, however they lost their top spot after a wardrobe mishap in which Cizeron accidentally unclipped the back of Papadakis’s dress.

Speaking about their 2018 silver medal win, Cizeron said: “It made us want that gold medal more than anything else. And I think we’ve never worked that hard for a specific goal.”

Speaking to Out magazine in 2020, Cizeron explained what ice dancing means to him.

“I was lucky enough to find a space where I was able to express myself and feel included and supported,” he said.

“Figure skating wasn’t just a sport to me. The rink was the only place except home where I was lifted up and not torn down for my mannerisms. Skating brought me so much confidence and allowed me to discover myself in a safe environment.

“When I finally did get the courage to come out, I was fortunate enough to have a supportive family and to be born in a country where my existence wasn’t a crime.”

'Breathtaking' figure skating routine wins gold at Winter Olympics
‘Breathtaking’ figure skating routine wins gold at Winter Olympics (Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

The 2022 games are the queerest Olympics yet with at least 35 publicly out LGBT+ athletes vying for the gold. It’s double the number of openly LGBT+ athletes who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“Team LGBT+” won its first gold medal of the year when bisexual speed skater Ireen Wüst claimed her sixth Winter Olympics gold medal for the Netherlands in the women’s 1,500-meter final.

The 35-year-old Wüst, who is retiring next month, told reporters after the event: “It’s really hard to describe… A lot of emotions, especially the good ones. I don’t realise it yet. It’s insane, actually.”

With this win, she has gone down in Olympics history as the first athlete to claim individual gold medals at five consecutive games.

More: Beijing, Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron, olympics, Winter Olympics

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