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Canada’s Eric Radford, USA’s Adam Rippon make important Olympic history

Last Updated Feb 13, 2018 at 9:53 am EDT

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada react with their teammates as they watch their scores posted following their performance in the team event pair skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The sporting world witnessed an important piece of history on Day 3 of the 2018 Olympic Games when Canadian figure skater Eric Radford became the first openly gay male athlete to win Olympic Winter gold.

He and his pairs skating partner, Meagan Duhamel, helped Canada earn top honours in the team figure skating event.

Radford officially came out in an article in Outsports Magazine in December 2014, almost a year after helping Canada earn Olympic silver in the same event in Sochi.

The 33-year-old reflected on that time in an exclusive article written for Sportsnet last month.

“I had never felt compelled to talk about my sexuality before because I believed it was a non-issue,” Radford wrote.

“But I put myself in the position of a young kid, who might be afraid to follow their own dream. Or maybe they just want to get out of their own small town and do something in the world,” continued Radford, who skates with Sudbury’s Duhamel. “If that young kid was able to see someone on TV — someone similar to myself, who was openly gay and winning medals — then maybe that would give them the confidence to feel it was truly possible for them.”

Radford shared the podium with American skater Adam Rippon, who became the first openly gay male American athlete to medal in the Winter Olympics.

Rippon helped the U.S. to team figure skating bronze with a near-flawless performance, and won over the entire Internet in the process thanks to his skill, his story, and his refreshingly honest tweets and interviews.

Radford and Duhamel will hit the ice again in the short program, which will begin Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET.