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U.S. Pairs Skater Timothy LeDuc to Be First Nonbinary Winter Olympian

Timothy LeDuc and Ashley Cain-Gribble

Timothy LeDuc is set to be the first out nonbinary Winter Olympian when they compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics that begin February 4.

On Saturday, U.S. Figure Skating announced the 31-year-old had been paired with Ashley Cain-Gribble for the games.

“It’s really exciting, but I hope that the narrative does not center around me and my journey and my accomplishments but that the narrative switches to queer people having the opportunity to be open and be authentic to themselves and everything that makes them unique and still achieve in sport,” LeDuc said after the team announcement, according to The Washington Post. “So often queer people have to adjust themselves and sacrifice authenticity to achieve success.”

In 2019, LeDuc became the first out queer athlete to win gold in the U.S. pairs figure skating event, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

In a recent interview with NBC Sports’ My New Favorite Olympian podcast, LeDuc discussed their experience as someone who identifies as nonbinary.  

“For me, as a person that exists and really thrives outside of the binary, it can be very complicated sometimes,” LeDuc said.

“There are going to be the people that don’t understand it or would be very quick to push me back into the box of, you know, they look at me, they see that I have a beard or they look at maybe my physical characteristics and say, ‘You’re a boy. Act like a boy. What are you doing?’” they explained.

LeDuc and Cain-Gribble will be joined by Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier as the other pairs team that will represent the U.S. during the Beijing Olympics.

The two pairs “join previously nominated athletes Mariah Bell, Karen Chen, and Alysa Liu on the 2022 US Olympic Figure Skating Team,” CNN reports.

The Olympics are scheduled for February 4 to 20.

At last summer’s Tokyo Olympics there were several athletes who were nonbinary including Canadian soccer midfielder Quinn and U.S. skateboarder Alana Smith.

A record-breaking 186 out LGBTQ+ athletes competed at the Summer Games, according to Outsports. Those Olympians won 33 medals.

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