Another First in the Weird & Wacky: It’s a ‘Non-Binary’ U.S. Olympic Athlete

January 10th, 2022 1:01 PM

Can we ever have a gender-normal Olympiad again? Last summer in Tokyo, it was all about the transgenders. Next month in Beijing, the United States will feature its first-ever non-binary winter athlete.

Since this gender craze is all about the pronouns, we’re about to see someone who looks an awful lot like a “he,” but who goes by “they.” Oh, for the good old days of the thrill of the sport and the agony of defeat again. When men were men and women were women!

Timothy “they” LeDuc is one of four persons named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team Sunday morning. In 2019, he was one of the first openly homosexual athletes to win gold in a U.S. pairs' event. This year, LeDuc took gender confusion a step further by publicly coming out as a so-called "non-binary" and the first such U.S. athlete to win a championship in any discipline. In another four years, he'll probably compete as a house plant.

“Next month they will become the first publicly out non-binary athlete to compete at a Winter Olympics,” wrote the hip Brandon Penny of NBC Sports

Jo Yurcaba, also an NBC writer, said LeDuc and “their partner,” Ashley Cain-Gribble made history by qualifying for the Beijing Games, starting February 3.:

“LeDuc, 31, is no stranger to historic firsts — they were the first openly gay athlete to win gold in a U.S. pairs event in 2019 — but making Team USA would be especially meaningful because LeDuc, who is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, hasn’t always felt welcome in their sport.

“In an interview on the latest episode of NBCLX’s podcast My New Favorite Olympian, they said as a person who ‘exists and really thrives outside of the binary,’ navigating a gendered sport can be complicated.”

LeDuc said some people can’t understand him and are quick to put him in a box because he has the physical characteristics of a boy. “What are you doing?” they ask him.

In fact, “they” once had a tryout with a girl who refused to skate with “them.” And it was her that found things a little weird, not LeDuc. “She thought me being gay was going to be a liability. It was not an option for her in an otherwise great partnership that girl and I could have had.” 

A coach once told LeDuc to go out and show masculinity, and that was how he could win. This is pointed out as insensitive by NBC.

LeDuc’s Christian family is from a traditional evangelical church that tried to change their son, and the NBC story portrays them as the weird people.

At last, in 2016, current skating partner, Cain-Gribble, “accepted them and celebrated their nontraditional partnership.” She never wants them to be seen as “the traditional team,” adding: “They always had the storyline of the male is super masculine and strong and always just to come in and save the girl who is a wilted little flower and is weak, or it was a full-on love story, where obviously a male and a female fall in love with each other.”

His parents now support him, but it’s the figure skating world that “remains rigid in its traditional gender expectations for athletes, LeDuc said, and that’s something they are trying to help change.”

At least today, LeDuc is fantasizing as outside the binary world. So naturally, he’s going to be looked at as odd, as peculiar by the greater public. But the strange, the unusual is already acceptable to the wide, wacky media world. NBC and others that are so quick to give in and go along with anything LGBT, no matter how radical it is. No questions asked.