Today, one of my biggest inspirations in life and sport celebrates his 33rd birthday. I’ve admired Eric Radford’s skating since I first saw him in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics. But since then, I’ve gotten to know him as not only a elite-level skater, but as a brilliant man in so many ways. Here are just 33 wonderful things about Eric Radford.
1. He is a 2-time world champion and won 3 medals at the Olympics.
With four World championship medals, two Four Continents titles, the 2014 Grand Prix Final crown, and seven gold medals at Grand Prix events, it goes without saying that this guy is a dang good skater! And let’s not forget, he and Meagan won Canadian nationals seven times in a row, more than any Canadian pair before them.
2. He is an amazing pianist and composer.
I was amazed to learn that Eric is not only an incredible skater, but a piano genius! Growing up on my mom’s piano music, this part of his story has always had a special place in my heart. (Go check out his new track “Storm” right now!)
3. He has a great sense of humor.
If you ever need something uplifting, scroll through Eric’s Twitter! He’s honest, matter-of-fact, and utterly hilarious. A few samplings:
4. He is so sweet to his fans.
Ever since I joined the Twitter fandom, there is one thing that has never changed: Eric is the sweetest human being I’ve ever known. He takes the time to read through his fan tweets and sometimes even reply. It’s not an athlete’s job to interact with the fans, but it’s nice that he does.
5. He is not afraid to dream.
In an interview with CBC Sports, Eric revealed his goal is to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score. While that may sound like a tall order, if anyone can do it, it’s Eric. And when he does, I’ll be the one saying “I told y’all he could do it.”
6. He is a great spokesperson against bullying.
When life gives you a hard time, most people run. Some find the courage to face their obstacles and triumph. But very few keep fighting for others even when their own battle has been won. Eric is one of those few.
Growing up as a figure skater in a hockey town, Eric dealt with daily bullying, but he never let it stop him from chasing his dream. And now that he has earned recognition because he bravely chased that dream, he is an inspirational voice to stop bullying for the next generation. There will always be unkind people in the world, but there are also good people like Eric, and I’m grateful for that.
7. He is the ideal representative of the LGBT community.
As a bi baby myself, it makes me so happy to have someone as cool as Eric representing the LGBT community in a positive light. I was a fan of him and Meagan long before I even realized I was bi, but when the truth slapped me upside the head, he was my biggest inspiration to tell my mom instead of letting it become a secret that would suffocate me. He is honest, passionate, and tasteful – exactly the kind of person we need to lead us into acceptance.
But before you get your hopes up, he’s taken 😉
9. He is always sportsmanlike and genuinely respectful of his competitors.
I’ll never forget how openly yet politely he talked about their rivalries with the top pairs of the time in an interview with Figure Skating Online. Full interview here:
”Ksenia and Fedor are incredible athletes and they were amazing competitors…It was a really intense energy between us… And Fedor was always a nice guy, very easygoing, an amazing competitor. He never missed that triple toe-triple toe combination. It was really impressive.”
“When we saw Sui and Han at the first competition into 2016-2017 and they came out and had improved their style and their stroking. I think everybody noticed that there was something different and mature about them, she was really selling it, they reinvented themselves with interesting programs. Whenever I see a competitor able to do that, I have so much respect as it’s so impressive to try to stay original and find something fresh, but at the same time take a step forward and add complexity, that’s the most difficult thing to do.”
“When you would see these teams like Aljona and Bruno, they made huge strides season by season, the French team when they came out a couple of seasons ago, the Italians at the Olympics this year, I felt so proud of all of them, it made me really happy to see that.”
10. He has the most amazing lifts.
I never met a Duhamel/Radford lift I didn’t like. Some pair guys can pick up the girl without a hitch but get their feet tangled at the bottom, and some guys run around while the girl holds on for dear life. But I never felt scared while watching Eric lift Meagan. His technique is exquisite – his hand never wavers as he picks her up, and his feet move effortlessly. Not many guys can make holding a tiny human being ten feet in the air with one hand while rotating on a sheet of ice at dangerously high speeds look like another day at the office!
11. He is a reliable partner to Meagan.
Did I ever tell you I would sell my soul to be Ms. Meagan Duhamel so I could skate with Eric all the time? Although there are many great male pair skaters in the past and present – Cong Han, Robin Szolkowy, and of course Sergei Grinkov come to mind – Eric would be my first choice. He is both an amazing skater and a supportive partner, and he understands the value of teamwork.
12. He skated through a broken nose at his first Worlds.
Worlds is a nerve-racking event for any skater. Especially if it’s your first time. And getting bopped in the nose by your partner doesn’t exactly help. But Eric just rolled with it as if nothing had happened! Talk about composure!
13. He skated through a serious hip injury at 2017 Worlds.
In case you didn’t read point #12, WORLDS IS SCARY. And it’s even scarier when you’re the defending world champions, and BOTH partners are injured. While Meagan and Eric didn’t win that event, it was a victory in bravery and teamwork.
14. He is a loyal friend to his teammate Dylan Moscovitch, and their friendship always makes me smile.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would have a hard time just trying not to kill my rivals, let alone be friends with them! But through the ups and downs of their careers, Eric and Dylan have been nothing but supportive and respectful.
15. He has the best spread eagles in the business.
As someone who can barely do crossovers, I’m a sucker for any kind of fancy footwork. But just look at how easy he makes this look!
16. He respects women and knows how to treat them right.
My mom always says you can always tell a man’s character by how he treats the women in his life.
I think this post sums it up 😍
17. He is a grounded, humble person.
You’d think that all this hullabaloo would turn anyone into a snob. But not Eric. He’s still as gracious and kind as he was before he even won his first national title.
18. He is one of the best-dressed skaters on the ice.
Figure skating is full of cringe-worthy costumes, but Eric has always had a simple, stylish sense of fashion on the ice.
19. He writes beautifully about love.
Okay, not that I’m ready to get married or anything, but I want someone to write about me the way Eric writes about Luis and look at me the way Eric and Luis look at each other!
20. His travel photos are always stunning.
Eric, you seriously need to add “Photographer” to your list of attributes. If I ever want to go on a vacation around the world, all I need to do is scroll through his Instagram!
21. “With or Without You” actually got me choked up. Every time.
I can honestly count on one hand how many skating programs have made me cry in my life. But literally every time I watch Meagan and Eric’s short program to “With or Without You”, I get that little knot in my throat all over again. Please help.
22. Their gala numbers are as good as their competitive programs.
Truth be told, I usually skip watching the gala, because (with a few exceptions) the skaters usually don’t put the same amount of effort into choreographing these program as they do conpetitive programs. Can we just talk about the throw combo jump in “Be Mine” for a minute? (Watch it here)
23. He composed a beautiful piece of music for his friend Patrick Chan.
Okay, am I the only one who gets chills the second “A Journey” comes on? Somebody please find me a friend who will write such beautiful music for me!!!
24. He wrote “Tribute” to his late coach, Paul Wirtz.
I think everyone has that special person in their life who touches their life and inspires them, and for Eric, that was his coach Paul Wirtz. Losing that person can be one of the hardest things we ever face. But when that happened to Eric, he created beauty from pain and wrote a piece of music dedicated to Paul. And as if that wasn’t enough, he turned this piece into the short program he and Meagan skated at the 2014 Olympics. (If that doesn’t make you tear up, then you have no soul and we can’t be friends!)
25. He is a great representative of his beautiful country Canada.
Eric Radford for Prime Minister of Canada. Just a thought.
26. HOMETOWN GLORY, 2016 WORLDS
If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a sucker for Adele programs. I just want to thank Eric (and Meagan 😀) for creating that moment at 2016 Worlds. Whenever I have a bad day, you know what I’ll be watching 😉
27. He’s the quiet one in the partnership, but he’s equally strong.
Meagan got a lot of attention for being feisty, analytical, and a passionate vegan, but Eric was an equally strong player in the glorious partnership of Duhamel/Radford, and I think he deserves more credit!
28. His childhood pics make me smile.
I have a soft spot for old pictures of skaters, and Eric’s are no exception 😍
29. He and Meagan have a unique chemistry on the ice that is totally theirs.
Meagan and Eric didn’t have the traditional romantic chemistry from movies like The Cutting Edge, but they had their own dynamic it-factor together. His smooth, elegant style with Meagan’s energetic one created a yin and yang on the ice that was refreshing and innovative. I think it’s inspired a new way of skating: edgier, more athletic, and frankly awesome.
30. When he swings her by her feet, I lose it every time.
I don’t know what crazy person suggested that swinging tiny girls by their feet is a good idea, but Eric makes it look really cool and not extremely terrifying.
31. He is one of the few pair skaters who can do a triple Lutz.
To be a great pair skater, you have to be a great singles skater. The triple lutz is no easy feat, especially when you’re trying to synchronize it with a partner who is a much smaller or larger size and moves at a different speed. Most pairs, even the best of the best, don’t attempt this. But Meagan and Eric did, and they nailed them. Check out this GIF from 2015 Worlds.
32. He is passionate about everything he does.
I believe that passionate people keep the world running. And from his skating to his music to the people he loves, he simply exudes passion.
33. His smile could heal the world.
I’ll end this post with a happy picture because all I want for him is happiness. The world is brighter because of his smile, and I hope they know it. Happy birthday to my inspiration, my idol, and just a wonderful guy. An eternity of good fortune is still not enough for a person like you ❤️
– Isabel (just a crazy fangirl)