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It sounds like a movie," says Larcom, now 30, talking on the phone from the Toyota Sports Center rink in Los Angeles, where he coaches figure skating and hockey."Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds.Britain's John Curry, known for bringing ballet to the ice, came out in 1976, the same year he won Olympic gold and the world figure skating championships (he died of an in 1994).Canadian figure skater Matthew Hall came out in 1992. champion Johnny Weir came out after competing in the 2010 Vancouver games, it seemed more like a formality.As a result, the International Skating Union replaced its audience-friendly 6.0 scoring system with an anonymous, points-based alternative that fans still struggle to understand. As he writes in his new book, , "the names of the judges with their real marks are kept in a safe in Lausanne and only the general secretary and a notary can see them, if requested by the Technical Committees." Then, 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."The purpose of the new judging system is to hide everything," says renowned figure skater Dick Button, the two-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time world champion and seven-time U. 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.
"Something that I spent more time doing than anything else, sacrificing my family and friends - I wasn't proud to say I was national champion."It's no surprise why.
"I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla.
Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes.
"Then they find out when they get older, 'Let's try to keep the sparkle down, because that's feminine and then they'll think you're gay.' And of course, they're saying that to some boys who are gay.", "at least seven of the 14 male Olympic figure skating medalists from the past 20 years are known in certain circles to be interested in other men.
In fact, in at least five countries the entire men's singles figure skating team is made up of gay men (albeit some 'teams' are exactly one man)." That same year, figure skating expert Lorrie Kim wrote, "Unofficial insider estimates range from 25 percent to nearly 50 percent.