Thunder Bay

Eric Radford's hometown renames street in his honour

Visitors to the small northern Ontario town where pairs figure skater Eric Radford grew up will now be able to travel down a road named for the hometown hero.

Street naming ceremony held alongside town's 2nd annual Pride celebration

Eric Radford speaks at a street naming ceremony in his honour, in his hometown in northwestern Ontario. (Patrick Boucha)

Visitors to the small northern Ontario town where pairs figure skater Eric Radford grew up will now be able to travel down a road named for the hometown hero. 

On Friday, Radford was on-hand as the town rechristened Mine Road in Balmertown, in his honour. 

It will now be known as Eric Radford Way.

"I think Red Lake has been blessed with the achievements of Eric," said Mark Vermette, Red Lake's CAO. 

"From a small little town to see someone like that do so well, endure so much and be successful ...  the community, specifically the mayor and council, thought this is a great way to celebrate Eric's successes."
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada celebrate capturing the bronze medal in pairs figure skating during the victory ceremony at Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Radford, along with his skating partner Meagan Duhamel, brought two medals home from the most recent Olympic games. He spent his early years in Balmertown, a municipality within the district of Red Lake, where he still has family. 

Friday afternoon's celebration happened at the intersection of the street on which Radford's childhood home is located, and where he attended school, Vermette said.  

The ceremony also took place alongside Red Lake's second annual Pride celebrations, at which Radford will also be a special guest. 

Radford is an inspiration to all youth in Red Lake, but because he is an openly gay athlete, his success holds special meaning for the LGBTQ community, said Michael Brunton, the lead organizer of the Pride event. 

"He represents that you can be open and honest about who you are and that people can look up to you who are really struggling with that ... I think he represents someone who has a sense of bravery and integrity that everyone can look up to," Brunton said.