Team Canada celebrates Pride Month with our athletes
Across the country, members of Team Canada are celebrating Pride Month and underlining the importance of cultivating inclusivity and acceptance in sport.
We checked in to see how some members of our community are choosing to show their Pride this year. Take a look at what they’ve been up to:
Team Canada marches in Toronto Pride Parade
The Canadian Olympic Committee proudly took part Toronto’s annual Pride Parade, walking alongside You Can Play and the Canadian Paralympic Committee to celebrate the importance of diversity and inclusion in sport.
Team Canada not only marched, but also backflipped, cartwheeled, lined out, and rolled, thanks to the gymnasts, rugby players and skateboarders that participated! Olympian Erin Ambrose even brought her gold medal out for the parade.
Part of Canada’s Tokyo 2020 golden squad in women’s soccer, Quinn made history as the first openly transgender, non-binary person to win an Olympic medal. The two-time Olympic medallist also played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and is aiming to return to the World Cup this summer.
Quinn was featured on Glory Sports‘ Pride cover and gave an interview about their career and new mentorship program, the See Them, Be Them Initiative.
“In order to be your best on the pitch, in order to perform your best in any job that you have, you have to feel comfortable with who you are,” Quinn says in the interview. “For me, the evolution of my game has also corresponded with how accepted I feel in the LGBTQ+ community and in the broader community within Canada. I think, for me, that’s allowed my game to succeed.”
Kaitlyn Weaver (figure skating)
Kaitlyn Weaver is a two-time Olympian and three-time world medallist in ice dance with her on-ice partner, Andrew Poje. When she came out in 2021, she was among the few Olympic figure skaters to publicly identify as queer. Weaver waited until retiring from competition because she feared that negative reactions to her sexuality could impact their scores.
“We are in a judged sport. We’re afraid to put one toe out of line for fear of what people will think about it,” Weaver said in an interview with the CBC. “Coming out was never something I considered. It was not on the table for me.”
With some time for reflection during the pandemic, the thought of being a role model for other young skaters urged Weaver to share her identity publicly.
For Pride Month this year, Skate Canada has partnered up with the non-profit Rainbow Railroad, an organization which supports 2SLGBTQIA+ people escape state-sponsored violence. Skate Canada has created an exclusive Pride merchandise line and proceeds will go to Rainbow Railroad.
Eric Radford (figure skating)
Eric Radford, three-time Olympic medallist and five-time world championship medallist in pairs figure skating, uses his platform to promote inclusivity.
When he and his then-skating partner, Meagan Duhamel, won gold with Canada in the team event at PyeongChang 2018, Radford became the first openly gay man to win a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games.
Now retired from skating, Radford also served as a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #OneTeam initiative, designed to promote inclusion in sport.
Annie Guglia (skateboarding)
In honour of Pride Month, Guglia travelled to Toronto’s Pride Weekend to team up for a slate of events with Queer Skate Toronto.
“I see my role in this community as being a positive role model,” Guglia has said. “It’s a weird thing to say about oneself but overall, I try to make myself visible whenever possible and use the platforms offered to me to show that this is just normal. I don’t understand those who spread hate against others based on something that doesn’t concern them or take anything away from them.”
Erin Ambrose (ice hockey)
Erin Ambrose, a member of the gold medal-winning Olympic women’s hockey team at Beijing 2022, also celebrated Pride by taking in the Toronto Blue Jays Pride Weekend.
Ambrose wrote about coming to terms with her identity in a personal essay published through Hockey Canada: “As much as I struggled to choose to be myself and live the real me, I can tell you, with so much happiness, that as a proud LGTBQ+ member, it is WORTH it to be yourself and be PROUD of it.”
Ghislaine Landry (rugby)
Rugby player Ghislaine Landry, Canada’s leading scorer in her two Olympic appearances, took to Instagram earlier this month to acknowledge that queer families are a cause for celebration.
Curling Canada celebrated Pride with a compilation of photos from the Canadian Pride Curling Championships, hosted in Halifax. The tournament is the world’s only 2SLGBTQIA+ curling championship. Also included in that montage are skips John Epping and Greg Smith. In March 2021 they made history as the first two openly gay skips to play one another at a Canadian Curling Championship, which they did when their Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador teams met in the Brier.