LGBTQ Olympic hopefuls and fans are excited that Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy are the first two out American men competing in a Winter Games. But you can add Jorik Hendrickx, who is the only male figure skater on Team Belgium to the list of out gay men in Pyeongchang.
Hendrickx is a two-time national skating champion and made his Olympic debut in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. He came out in an interview with Zizo Belgium just this month. But Hendrickx says he wasn’t ready to come out in Sochi.
“When I wasn’t ready to talk about my homosexuality, I focused on the sport. My orientation is not a factor when I skate.”
Hendrickx’s was not alone on his trip to Pyeongchang. His younger sister, fellow figure skater Loena Hendrickx, qualified, too. Both started a fundraising campaign to help bring their parents to Pyeongchang to see them compete.
“Skaters do not get free tickets for their family members at this level. Please help our mom realize her dream to see us both perform.”
They raised over $5,500! Hendrickx says the 2018 Games are likely be his final Olympics.
”Above all, I want to perform well. I have improved, but also my competitors. If my performance is good in itself, then I am satisfied.”
Jorik hits the ice February 16 and 17 at 8PM on NBC.
(Photos, Instagram; via NewNowNext)