Today’s Notable Young Professional is World Champion figure skater and Olympic silver medalist Eric Radford. We caught up with him to find out what inspires him and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am a two-time World Champion figure skater with partner Meagan Duhamel, a classical composer, a traveller, and a voice for the LGBT community
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I saw skating on TV when I was eight and it reminded me of flying…I wanted to be a pilot initially.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Winning my second world title with a perfect skate in Boston last year. I’m also immensely proud of being able to compose the long program for the Canadian men’s figure skater Patrick Chan. It’s been incredibly satisfying to see my two passions combine.
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
Five years – Skating in shows around the world as an Olympic Champion. I hope to be speaking to more people about reaching their goals and share some of the lessons I’ve learned along my journey. I would love to be working on more programs with my music – perhaps even taking it to a performance level.
10 years – Coaching and choreographing at my own skating school. Writing music, releasing an album of my own compositions, maybe writing a book on adversity and blasting through stereotypes.
20 years – I hope to be in a position where I can look back and see the people who I have helped and the positive impact I’ve had.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I would want them to know not to give up, but also remember that you need to be resilient in order to persevere. The journey towards any goal is never straight. Learn to take the good wherever you can and adapt the world around you to support your goal. You will reach it.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I am an ambassador for the Canadian Olympic Committee’s OneTeam initiative, which will bring Olympians to schools right across Canada to talk about mental fitness and equality in sport. As someone who grew up in a small, hockey town, understanding my sexuality and feeling supported was a challenge. Programs such as OneTeam help to create dialogue and conversation that perpetuates acceptance of everyone in sport.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I’ve experienced my fair share of challenges over the years. Leaving home at 13 to pursue figure skating is one challenge that I don’t often share. I had to grow up very fast in order to take on the pressures and demands of a competitive sport. I really learned in this process the value of a strong family and friends. My parents were always parents to me, even if I wasn’t living in their home. I also experience how people can create family around them by being open and appreciating how fulfilling good friends can be in your life.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Notable implies something that grabs your attention and is memorable.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
A little restaurant called “Ferrari” in Montreal. It’s Italian and they make their own pasta.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I get all my news from Flipboard.com. Most played song would be “Hopippolla” by Sigur Ros.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I think Neil DeGrasse Tyson posts very witty but educational things.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I love the pace of life in Spain but I am heading to Japan next for a competition.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Being invited somewhere by a close friend(s) but being unable to go because of skating.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Cookies. I don’t think a day passes where I don’t eat at least one.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I wish I didn’t have to spend money on gas. My next car will definitely be electric. I’m planning on spending a lot more money on travelling when I finally have more time.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success to me is loving what you do, day in and day out while keeping a positive perspective on any challenges that come your way.