Rounding off the year, Allison and Nick have invited world champion pairs ice-skater Randy Gardner on the show. Randy speaks candidly about some of his experiences around being a gay athlete, dealing with the media, getting married, and going behind the iron curtain at the height of the cold war. This is an upbeat episode and a wonderful way to begin the holidays.
A legend of American figure skating, Randy Gardner has achieved multiple successes both with his longtime skating partner Tai Babilonia and as a director/choreographer and event producer. During their illustrious career, Tai and Randy count United States, World, and World Professional Championship titles among their long list of accomplishments. The Pair was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1992 and still hold the distinction of being the last U.S. team to have won a World Championship in Pair’s skating.
In 1988, Mr. Gardner started his choreography career and has directed, staged, or choreographed almost every major skating star in the business. The 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships were held in Los Angeles, California. Randy Gardner was chosen to direct and stage the Opening Night Ceremonies, as well as, the Exhibition of Champions. The opening night featured a cast of 40 including skaters along with aerialists and the show was hosted by Olympic Champions, Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano.
In October of 2002, Tai and Randy published their autobiography “Forever Two As One” with co-author Martha Kimball Louder. The coffee table book tracks their lives and career through photographs, their own recollections and quotes from the world’s top skating stars.
His personal interests are of a wide variety. He and Ms. Babilonia contribute their time to several carefully chosen charitable organizations such as The Special Olympics and Camp Laurel and he is the current president of the Pro Skating Historical Foundation.
03:15 Tell us about what happened to you in the 1980 Olympics?
06:00 What went through your head as your life long dreams were essentially shattering?
07:40 What did you think about in terms of your future?
08:45 What was it like going to the white house?
10:13 The press conference after.
11:24 How did the injury effect your mindset?
11:57 What did it take to become a world champion?
13:00 Was Tai’s mixed race ever an issue with the media?
14:00 What was it like being a gay skater at that time?
15:50 What were other boys’ reactions to your being a skater?
18:26 How would ‘coming out have effected your endorsements and do you think it would be different today?
22:05 Do you think that if you take a celebrity’s private life and expose it under a microscope it works against them?
24:05 Why do you think we don’t have any ‘real’ skating stars anymore?
27:10 What was it like being behind the Iron Curtain and skating against the Russians?
29:43 Did you think they were doping?
33:14 Why did you decide to get married and why do you think that should be available to all gay people?
40:30 What do you think about Rick Perry’s latest commercial condemning gays in the military?
41:35 Mayhem Round with Producer Nick.
42:06 Lesbian Naval Officers sharing a kiss: Do you think this is helpful in promoting the cause for same sex relationships?
43:50 Being sent to change therapy after coming out.
45:55 Do you think people would have a more negative reaction to men kissing in public than women?
48:00 Do you think acceptance of gay people showing public affection with one another is growing?
48:50 As an athlete, did you visualize your successes?
50:00 Sandusky abuse case: What are your thoughts about the onslaught of accusations against coaches right now?
53:45 How has media scrutiny changed since you were in the spotlight as a young man?
59:55 Randy’s relationship with his mother.
1:05:00 Randy’s choreographed show on New Years Day on MBC.
1:06:30 What would you say to the republican presidential candidates about the politics of exclusion?
1:10:20 Wrap Up.