Timothy LeDuc To Become First Openly Nonbinary U.S. Athlete At Winter Olympics
Timothy LeDuc Will Become 1st Openly Nonbinary U.S. Athlete ... At Winter Olympics
2/3/2022 7:53 AM PT
Figure skater Timothy LeDuc is set to become the first openly nonbinary American athlete to ever compete at the Winter Games ... but they don't want to make it a big deal about themself -- their goal is to make all queer people feel accepted in sports.
31-year-old LeDuc -- who came out as gay at 18 before opening up about being nonbinary (not exclusively identifying as male or female) in 2021 -- said when they take the ice alongside partner Ashley Cain-Gribble in Beijing this month, they hope the storyline isn't, "Timothy is the first nonbinary person to achieve this level of success in sports."
Instead, the 2-time national champ wants to use this opportunity to show all members of the LGBTQ+ community there is a place for them in competitive sport.
"We’ve always been here, we have always been a part of sports. We just haven’t always been able to be open," LeDuc said, according to the AP.
In fact, Adam Rippon became the first openly gay American skater to earn podium while competing at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018 ... but former American stars like Brian Boitano and Johnny Weir did not come out until after their competing days.
The Games have seen a rise in LGBTQ+ athletes recently -- Canadian soccer player Quinn was the first openly transgender and nonbinary Olympian to medal in Tokyo ... New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender athlete to compete.
LeDuc says it hasn't been easy identifying their gender ... but luckily, they had a strong support group to help along the way.
"It’s been a really long journey for me, embracing my gender," they added.
"I’ve had some amazing people in my life help me through that journey."