Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman)

I met US pairs skaters Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc at the 2017 US Nationals where they won the pairs bronze medal.

Blog author Stan Kimer, in addition to training as an adult competitive figure skater himself, is a career development and diversity consultant with a deep expertise in corporate LGBT diversity strategy and training. Please explore the rest of my website (which includes my own figure skating page) and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.

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Important Note: with one exception, this blog only features athletes who voluntarily, personally and publicly disclosed themselves as gay.

Since my original “Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating” is almost two years old, I decided to write this second installation with 2018 being an Olympic year. In addition to my original blog’s Adam Rippon and Eric Radford more than likely competing, Brian Orser coaching and Johnny Weir announcing the 2018 figure skating at this year’s Olympics, this blog contains a few more people we should be seeing there.

Before or after reading this blog, you may want to relook at the original 2016 blog where I also provided some information and link about figure skating not only being a legitimate sport, but about how truly difficult it is.

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These fabulous men who are excellent role models and testament to hard work are, in alphabetical order:

Christopher Caluza cuddles a koala in Australia as he travels the world on a cruise line’s figure skating staff.

Christopher Caluza – This dual-citizen Filipino-American figure skater began his early career skating for the US, and then later for the Philippines. Christopher was the Filipino national champion in 2012 and 2013, and represented the Philippines at the Figure Skating World Championships for 3 years. He is now retired from competitive skating and enjoys seeing the world while skating in the ice cast of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Christopher is very active on Facebook as an out proud man who advocates for respect and equality for all people.

Guillaume Cizeron – Though I admit Guillaume has never made any kind of public pronouncement of his sexuality, this fabulous ice dancer is totally comfortable with himself in social media. This extremely handsome and sexy man from France (check out his public Facebook page!) is a two time world ice dance champion with his partner Gabriella Papadakis. Papadakis and Cizeron currently hold the world’s record top ice dance international competitive score and are one of the favorites to win Olympic gold in 2018.

J. Scott Driscoll – Scott was a competitive American skater in the junior and senior ranks in the early 1980s, and then a frequent medalist thereafter in the US Open Professional Championship ranks. Now coaching in Palm Springs, California, what is extraordinary about Scott is his use of his skating to promote anti-bullying and acceptance of LGBT people through his beautiful and dramatic program, “Your Love Matters.” Link to performance on Youtube.

Timothy Goebel – This American skater, the Olympic men’s bronze medalist in 2002, known in the skating community as “the quad king,” helped usher in the “quad jump revolution” within men’s figure skating. Probably the most technically proficient skater of his day, Timothy made Olympic history in 2002 by being the first man to successfully land a quadruple salchow in combination at an Olympic competition. This one time US gold medalist and three time silver medalist married his long time boyfriend Thomas Luciano in April, 2017.

Timothy LeDuc – This dark-haired tall handsome American pairs skater initially competed with three different partners from 2009 – 2014 with his best senior’s pair finish of 7th in the US Championships with DeeDee Lang in 2014. After retiring and then performing on a cruise line ice skating performance staff, Timothy was called out of retirement to re-enter competitive pairs skating with a new partner, Ashley Cain. The tremendously hard working team accomplished the amazing feat of placing third at the 2017 US Nationals in just their first year together! Be looking for this tall pair with their gorgeous extensions and long lines to compete for US and world medals in the years to come.

Javier Raya of Spain (left in photo) came out by expressing his happiness of finding the love of his life, Andrew Nicholson.


Javier Raya – Javier Raya is viewed as the “number two” male skater in Spain just behind 2-time world and 5-time European champion Javier Fernandez. Javier Raya, a crowd favorite with his emotional skating, is the 5-time Spain silver medalist and will surely be making his second Olympic appearance in 2018. He proudly came out as a gay man in May 2016 by posting a charming photo kissing his boyfriend Andrew Nicholson and writing, “I have to say that right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world!”

David Wilson – this out and proud world-class choreographer has worked with several Olympic medalist in the past and will likely have several of his skaters participating in the 2018 Olympics. After his competitive career was cut short at the age of 18 due to Osgood-Schlatter disease, he toured with various ice shows before the entering the choreography field. David has now established himself as one of the top and in demand choreographers and his clients have included Olympic competitors and medalists like Jeremy Abbott, Patrick Chan, Yuzuru Hanyu, Kim Yuna, Fumie Suguri and Johnny Weir.

Popular multiple time Japanese champion Fumie Suguri (photo_by_Carmichael)


And though this blog is specifically about gay men, I would like to do a shout out to female skater Fumie Suguri. This four-time Japanese National Champion finished 5th in the 2002 Olympics and 4th in 2006. She came out in the Japanese media in 2014 as bisexual, quite a bold move within the Japanese culture.

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Additional related blog! Please read “Five Key Messages on The Importance of Out Gay Olympic Athletes”

Note January 18, 2018: A few weeks after publishing this blog, Outsports did an interview with and story about Timothy LeDuc. Link to the story.

Added February 8, 2018: A fantastic short television segment and interview with Timothy LeDuc who us featured in this blog.

“Get Up” with a wonderful series of books about all kinds of figure skaters – an interview with Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz

Joanne and her husband Greg with Olympic Champion Scott Hamilton, on ice, at his Skate to Eliminate Cancer event at the 2017 US Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City.

I continue my monthly blog series based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which shares the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

For October, I interview Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, an adult figure skater and fan who has published a wonderful series of books featuring dozens of skater and coaches, famous and not-so-famous, who have each gotten up from trials and hardships to grow their love for figure skating. And I am thrilled that my story as an adult skater starting at the age of 59 is included in her newest book just out, “Skating Forward – Olympic Memories, Olympic Spirit.”

Stan: Joanne, first can you share about how you got interested in figure skating as a fan and participant?

Joanne: I began ice skating during the summer of 1988. I was 29 years old. I was home, sick in bed with the flu, during the 1988 Olympics. So I watched a lot of skating! I remembered loving skating as a child and thought, why not take lessons? Adult skating was just coming to our skating programs across the country so I joined our local club The Clinton Figure Skating Club that fall. I started learning the basics then graduated to testing some of the ice dances. As a fan, my husband Greg and I attended our first marquee event in the fall of 2009 when we went to Skate America in Lake Placid. We also attended our first Friends of Figure Skating Breakfast at that event as well. From there we went to our first Nationals in Spokane (it was also the year Skating Forward book one debuted). What can I say? We were now true skating fans and every year we put Skate America and the U.S. Championships on our travel schedule.


Stan: What then inspired you to write your first book, “Skating Forward?”

Joanne enjoys meeting her favorite skaters, like 2015 Men’s champion Jason Brown, who she met at the 2013 Detroit Skate America Friends of Figure Skating breakfast.

Joanne: I am journalism major. I loved to write, even as a little girl, I would spend hours writing stories. But the inspiration really began in 1991. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, just when I was getting my skating legs under me. It was a long year of surgery, chemo, radiation and recovery-but what got me through was my skating. My coach at the time Jason Dilworth would come in before the morning skaters, at around 6 AM, just so I could stroke around and move on my good days. It’s why I think I did so well and recovered so well. It was being on the ice. Not long after I did a little trial judging and I wrote about the experience and sent it to Skating Magazine. It was published! That did it. I began focusing on the two things I loved most, Skating and writing. I still contribute to the magazine today.

The Skating Forward books began in 2009. I was recovering from an accident (broken hip). I wrote some features for the US Figure Skating web page, and they all coincidentally were about some amazing young skaters who faced some pretty tough circumstances in their lives but kept on skating. I thought what a GREAT idea for a book. So I reached out to coaching friends for names of some inspiring skaters to profile (and received more stories then I could possibly have room to publish). Still do to this day. I think I could write skating Forward books for the next 20 years. We have so many incredible skaters out there and their personal stories are AMAZING, and very few people know about them. So it’s my honor and joy to feature them.


Stan: Do you feature a “get up” theme through the stories you share in the books?

Joanne: All of the stories do indeed have a Get Up theme. Not everyone survived a tough illness (although I have profiled cancer survivors, Tourette’s Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Juvenile Diabetes, hearing disorders, epilepsy) and on and on. But I’ve also profiled a coach who devotes her life to autism awareness because she has a young son with autism spectrum disorder. Another adult skater began a fundraiser in honor of her two sisters who passed away at very young age, and she raises money for the hospital that helped them both. I’ve also profiled current competitive skaters who overcame injuries and came back the following year to compete, and one young skater who went through a lot of finding herself on the ice before returning this year as one of our top senior ladies.


Stan: Do you have a “get up” story of your own you would like to share.

Joanne: It’s funny but I often tell people my hip break was in a funny way my “lucky break.” Had I not been home sitting, bored to tears I probably would not have written the Skating Forward books. I believe my cancer journey planted the seed, and then in 2009 it came to be.


Joanne’s latest book just came out this Fall leading up to this next Olympic season.

Stan: What is special about your most recent book that just came out, “Skating Forward, Olympic Memories, Olympic Spirit?”

Joanne: The readers will meet three incredible Olympians. Jim Millns and Colleen O’Connor were our first U.S. Ice Dancing medalists, receiving the bronze at Innsbruck in 1976. They share their wonderful Olympic journey and what it was like to be on the 1976 team with Dorothy Hamill and Linda Fratianne, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner and others. Our other Olympian is Jeremy Abbott and he shares that special Olympics in Sochi when he truly had a Get Up Moment. After a horrific fall in the short program he got up and finished his program creating probably one of the best Get Up moments on ice ever. Of course we have wonderful Olympic Spirit stories too. National Coach Darin Hosier is a stage 4 colon cancer survivor. Cara Zanella is a gold test adult skater living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Staci Montagna-Vail is a silver test judge and a stage 4 breast cancer survivor, and two of our current competitors, Ernie Utah Sevens and Jordan Moeller talk about getting up after serious injuries that kept them from competing for an entire year!


Stan: How can someone order this and your other books?

Joanne: Books will be available at the US Figure Skating merchandise booth in Lake Placid at the 2017 Skate America. We will also be at Adult Nationals in 2018.

Also available at (Direct links right to ordering the book)
> Amazon.com (Paperback and Kindle – direct link right to the book)
> Barnes and Noble. (direct link to the book)
> Books123


Stan: Is there anything else you would like to tell us in closing?

Joanne: I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do. To work with these incredible skaters, parents, coaches and fellow fans. My husband Greg and I have made so many skating friends over the years. We call them our Skating Family, and they are a HUGE reason why we enjoy going to the marquee events each year. It’s our Family Reunion. That I can get up each morning and write about this incredible sport is a blessing beyond belief. I am so truly grateful.

Stan: Thanks you, Joanne! I won’t be able to make it to Skate America in Lake Placid this year, but I look forward to seeing you at US Nationals in San Jose!

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My previous monthly “Get Up” blogs can be found on my skating video and blogs page.