It’s a sport laced with creativity, beauty and strength. Ice dance is poetry in motion, two skaters weaving gracefully across the ice surface together as one. Their precision and symmetry is something to marvel over.
But figure skating is also littered with judgment — an international panel of judges scouring over every little detail, then providing their score.
It was that suffocating weight of knowing she was being watched every second that kept Canadian ice dancer Kaitlyn Weaver hiding what she calls her little secret.
But now, two years after leaving competitive figure skating, Weaver is tired of doing the dance and keeping up the façade just to be accepted in the sport she loves.
On Friday, the 32-year-old became one of the few Olympic female figure skaters to publicly identify as queer.
“I’ve reached the point of not wanting to pretend anymore. It really weighed on my mental health to hide consistently a part of who I am,” Weaver told CBC Sports in an exclusive interview. “I feel like it’s the right time in my life to share that I identify as a queer woman.
“I feel like I need to step up because I know there are a lot of young girls and people in sport who are afraid to share who they are,” she said.
For 13 competitive seasons Weaver was alongside her skating partner Andrew Poje. The two were consistently near the top of the standings — they ranked among the top five in nine of those years, are three-time world medallists in ice dance, winning silver in 2014 to go with bronzes in 2015 and 2018, and competed at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics for Canada.
But throughout all their success, Weaver knew there was something missing. She couldn’t pinpoint it because she wouldn’t allow herself to go to that dark, scary place of confronting her sexuality.
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