Today is day 28 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life. On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle. It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride. Please click here to support my ride. I have a $3000 fundraising minimum. Every little bit helps. If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month. I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.
We love our figure skaters. We can file this one under local boy makes good. Rudy Galindo never went to the Olympics, but everybody knows his name. He has a slew of first place finishes starting with the U.S. National Novice Men’s Championship in 1982 and culminating with his win in 1996 of the U.S. National Men’s Championship in 1996. He is the fourth oldest man to have ever won the whole thing. He won two Pairs championships with his partner Kristi Yamaguchi, also a local girl in 1989 and 1990.
Yeah, like that. I wonder what it feels like to get that close to perfection. He did it. He got that close. The woman you see at the end of the video is his sister Laura, who was his coach. He came out in 1996 during an interview with Christine Brennan for her book Inside Edge on figure skating. He is to date the only openly gay athlete to have competed in any sport. Later in 2000 he disclosed his HIV status in another interview with Brennan. He wrote his own book in 1997 that was published in English and Spanish. He battled substance abuse, came out on the other side a better man. He had both hips replaced in 2003. His sister Laura found a new procedure that had just been approved by the FDA using a ceramic on ceramic technique. She found a Doctor in Reno who was experienced in the procedure and performed the new technique. Both hips were done within six weeks of each other.
Currently Rudy coaches young skating athletes throughout Northern California and Nevada. He is an AIDS activist and has been the Grand Marshal of several pride events. He works tirelessly for a cure.
Because the road less traveled is sometimes the most interesting, today I ride for Rudy.