Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rudy Galindo: An Appreciation

As we marvel at the accomplishments of openly gay Olympic athletes Eric Radford, Adam Rippon, and Gus Kenworthy, click through for a moving tribute to great American figure skater Rudy Galindo. Although he did not come out until shortly before he retired in 1996, he became the first openly gay skating champion in the U.S. when he won his country's national championships that year.

For those who question why Galindo didn't come out sooner -- especially given the fact that he hardly tried to hide who he was -- remember this: 1996 might not seem that long ago in some ways, but it's a world away when it comes to LGBTQ acceptance in sports. And after Rudy came out in Christine Brennan's book "Inside Edge," which was published right before the '96 nationals, skating officials seriously tried to ban her from covering the sport in retaliation for exposing this taboo subject. (Think about that.) And for others still who may be rolling their eyes about Galindo -- and later Johnny Weir -- not "needing" to come out, doing so on the record still counts for a lot. So bravo to them both for eventually getting there.

Born into abject poverty, Rudy's family sacrificed everything to support his figure-skating dreams. But even more challenging was the AIDS epidemic, which took the lives of two of his coaches and his brother, George. Rudy came out as HIV-positive in 2000 and has been facing it with "candor and style" ever since. In 2013, he was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame -- something he feared would never happen -- and continues to stay close to the sport as a coach. 

1 comment:

jaragon said...

Thanks for reminding us

Blog Widget by LinkWithin