Cedar Rapids native, Timothy LeDuc is a 2022 Olympic athlete heading to Beijing.
“I am the 2022 national champion with Ashley Cain-Gribble and a 2022 Olympian,” said Timothy, “it’s weird to say it, because I’ve wanted to say it for so long and now I’m like ‘Yes! I’m gonna say it.'"
The figure skater's journey dates back to 2002 when they watched the winter games in Salt Lake City.
“I was so inspired by this mix of artistry and athleticism and rhinestones and drama that was figure skating in the Olympics."
The last two decades have been spent lacing up skates and hitting the ice.
Timothy teamed up with Ashley Cain-Gribble in 2016 and have been skating together ever since.
“I could’ve turned back, I could’ve said no, I could’ve quit. The thing that has kept me going and has kept me working hard and pushing forward has been this image of me skating in the Olympics as the athlete I always knew I could be," said Timothy.
As Timothy skates their way to the Olympics, they are also making history. Timothy is the first openly non-binary winter Olympian.
Timothy said the LGBTQ+ athletes that came before them gave them the shoulders to stand on.
“I’m hoping that moves the conversation forward in that more queer people can embrace authenticity. Embrace what makes them unique and different and that they don’t have to change themselves in order to be a part of sports," said Timothy.
As the games grow closer, the thing Timothy is most looking forward to goes back to the image they created in 2002, stepping onto Olympic ice.
“I think that honestly all I want, is just to step on the ice and finally realize that dream," said Timothy.
Timothy and Ashley take the ice February 18th in the pairs skating event.