Hate on the Ice - The surprising truth about the olympics "gayest" sport -By Abigail Jones / January 30, 2014 12:00 PM EST (snipped)
Deep in the iron belt of northern Minnesota, where boys are raised
to be manly men and hockey is holy, Brandon Larcom grew up figure
skating. "I'm the only male figure skater up there, and my dad's the town
sheriff, and my brother pitches for the high school baseball team. It
sounds like a movie," says Larcom,...
As the anonymous former skater and judge said, "You can't get
ahead in figure skating if you don't play the politics. It's the most
ironic sport. It truly is probably the gayest sport, and yet it's right
up there as the most homophobic sport."
There's that connection between gender and sexuality, masculinity and
sexuality," says (William) Bridel, who is a professor of sports sociology at Miami
University in Oxford, Ohio.
....in advance of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia,
Skate Canada launched a campaign to curtail the sport's dwindling
audience - by manning up. At the time, television viewership in Canada
had dropped more
than 30 percent from the 1990s to the 2000s as big international stars
like Stojko and Kurt Browning retired. To combat this decline, Skate
Canada urged officials and athletes to emphasize "the danger, speed, risk and difficulty" of figure skating. The alleged goal, according to critics, was to attract the "hockey crowd."
"Today, there is more room for gay men but almost no room for effeminacy," says (Mary Louise) Adams.