Olympic champion and Balmertown native Eric Radford has his name – on a little bit of Balmer town. The former Mine Road in Balmertown is now – Eric Radford Way, un veiled June 8.
“It’s so cool,” Radford said at the celebration “I love it. I also love that we’re in front of my old house right now … Red Lake and Balmertown have been so special to me through my journey,” he said.
“To have this be my roots — and where it all started — half of my dreams that I remember take place right here, in and around this house. I’m still very, very connected to it and I’m going to be even more so now that I have this sign here.”
He thanked the town for supporting him through his entire career, from learning to skate at the outdoor rink through to – competing at the Olym pics. Radford hopes that his accomplishments in – skating will inspire any one trying to change their lives or achieve a goal or dream.
“I think that’s what my story and this big journey and my career, that’s what it all stands for and represents,” he shared.
“I was this small town kid that had this big dream and I just went for it. I believed in myself. And, it was not easy. There was a lot of sacrifice. There were so many ups and downs but i just persevered and I managed to achieve my dreams. It sounds cliché to say, but if I can do it, so can anybody. It’s not like I was extraordinary at something; I just really desired it and wouldn’t let anybody stand in my way.”
Be it stubbornness, competitiveness, or pure grit, “Those are traits I feel everybody has in some shape or form,” he said. Life after the Olympics has been a complete whirlwind, Radford said, with seminars, tours and shows.
“Heading into the future I’m going to be – doing more professional skating,” he shared. “Meagan [Duhamel] and I will probably do as many shows as we can in the next few years. It’s something we really enjoy doing, performing and being on the ice.”
Musical education and projects are also captivating Radford’s attention right now, along with opportunities like speaking engagements – and events. As the professional side of his skating winds down, he said, he would like to get into coaching and choreography.
The street naming happened during the same weekend as Red Lake’s second annual Pride, at which Radford was a guest of honour. He was pleased to bring his partner to Red Lake, a thought that a few years ago would have made him uncomfortable, he said. “Now just seeing how – people are being so welcoming, and they’re just very accepting, it’s like a non-issue. It makes me smile. It makes me very happy to see that.” WITH FILES FROM