Timothy DeLuc: Pride in 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Timothy DeLuc made headlines once again in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. You may remember Timothy as the openly gay skater who won the pair’s title at the U.S. Championships. In the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Timothy made headlines again as they identified as non-binary and began using the pronouns, they or them – making them one of the first non-binary people who competed and won in the Olympics.

Defining Non-Binary

Identifying as non-binary means not identifying with either gender – whether male or female. Other terms that also equate to non-binary are agender, genderqueer, or bigender. These terms mean that they do not experience gender as either male or female. 

Pride in the 2022 Winter Olympics

In an interview with Timothy, they mentioned that they wanted to make an impact and pave a way to a more inclusive Olympics – and that 2022 is only the beginning. They wanted to be a shining example of how queer people can be open and authentic, love everything unique about them, and still excel in what they are passionate about. And shine they did in with their brilliant performance with partner Ashley Cain-Gribble at the Capital Indoor Stadium for the short program on the pairs events.

In figure-skating, where there are more “traditional” male and female roles, especially in the pairs program, Timothy admitted that it was difficult to accept the “male” counterpart. At times, they mentioned that everything felt “forced.” But their passion for their sport made it possible. Timothy also added that they are grateful for all the other queer athletes that came before them and paved the way for their debut in 2021. 

Timothy also mentioned that they felt there was too much of an emphasis on the physical characteristics of gender expression in figure skating and other Olympic sports. But they noted that there are moments where they are encouraged to portray both elements. For example, they are encouraged to grow a beard, but they can openly use make-up during the competition itself.

Timothy and Ashley break gender stereotypes with their figure-skating rendition of “The White Crow” by Ilan Ehskeri. Instead of the male counterpart lifting the female up in the air whole, she makes intricate moves. In their performance, Timothy and Ashley displayed their intricate skills equally – performing the same moves in unison rather than the female counterpart being flashy and the male counterpart just standing or lifting.

Queer Representation in the Olympics

Timothy’s debut as a non-binary person follows a fellow athlete by the name of Quinn. Quinn is part of the women’s soccer team representing Canada. They are the first to be openly transgender and non-binary and win an Olympic gold medal in the recent Summer Olympic games. 

According to the statistics of GLAAD and Outsports, Timothy is one out of thirty-two LGBTQ athletes who are competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This means that the sports industry – a male-dominated industry that previously shuns minorities, is starting to become more inclusive.