Eric Radford, of Balmertown, ON, is gearing up for his third winter Olympics appearance and will be heading to Beijing as part of team Canada.

Radford and his new partner Vanessa James qualified for team Canada’s figure skating team in the pairs competition.

“To have made another Olympic team is just wild in some ways for me. Both Vanessa and I are very excited each time we take the ice to know the next time we take our starting position and we hear our music play it’s going to be on Olympic ice,” Radford said.

The 37-year-old has had a very successful Olympic career taking home a silver in his first Olympics in 2014 in the team event, a bronze medal at the 2018 games in the pairs event, and a gold medal in the team competition in 2018 as well.

Following the 2018 games and medaling with previous long-time partner Meagan Duhamel, Radford hung up his skates and retired from professional competition.

“I felt that Meagan and I achieved everything that we could together, and that was the end of our story.”

Radford came out of retirement to skate competitively with new partner Vanessa James and make his return to the Olympics.

“Skating with Vanessa was just very different than skating with Meagan. With Vanessa I’m able to express myself differently on the ice, I’m able to express myself to my maximum ability and limit. It opened up a whole different perspective, feeling, and exploration of my own skating when I skate with Vanessa.”

Heading into the Olympics Radford explained that the pair is preparing for the winter games just like any other competition.

“We do heavy on-ice training, off-ice training. A little bit of a change from earlier in the season to now is that we’re putting a little bit more pressure on ourselves when we are taking to the ice. We’re focusing more on our techniques.”

In terms of goals for the Olympics, Radford said winning would be nice, but the pair has another goal in mind.

“Vanessa and I have a little bit of a different goal to go out and have our two best skates and most importantly to create a moment for the audience and for the people that are watching. We want to show our love and joy for the sport.”

Once arrived in Bejing the two will go straight into competition in the pair skate team event, and then have a full two weeks before two compete as a pair. Radford noted the two have come up with a plan to continue training during that two-week period.

Radford and James will hit the ice for the pair skating team event on February 3, 2022, at 11:22 p.m. CST.

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be held in Bejing, China from February 4 to 20, 2022.