Paul Wirtz

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For the 17th-century Swedish Pomeranian general major and vice governour, see Paul Wirtz (Swedish Pomerania)

Paul Wirtz (May 3, 1958 - April 6, 2006) was a Canadian figure skating coach.[1] Originally from Marathon, Ontario,[1] he was the brother of Kris Wirtz and the uncle of Sean Wirtz.[1]

A coach of pairs skaters, athletes he worked with included Valérie Marcoux, Craig Buntin, Elizabeth Putnam, Sean Wirtz, Kristy Sargeant,[1] Kris Wirtz,[1] Dylan Moscovitch, Tanith Belbin[2] and Eric Radford.[3]

He died on April 6, 2006 at age 47 from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.[1] At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Radford and Meagan Duhamel performed to a piece of music that Radford had personally composed as a tribute to Wirtz.[4]

Wirtz was openly gay.[3] When Radford came out as gay in 2014, he credited Wirtz as an important influence on his acceptance of his own sexuality: "Paul was the first gay person I ever saw in real life. The gay people on TV were always very flamboyant, and until I met Paul I didn't realize you could be gay and just be normal. He was the first person I saw who was like that, gay and just normal. He made me realize I didn't have to be afraid of it."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "A teacher to the end". Ottawa Sun, April 9, 2006.
  2. ^ "Belbin loses dance title by the vote of one judge". The Globe and Mail, January 18, 2003.
  3. ^ a b c "Eric Radford: Olympic figure skater, medal-winning family man. And gay.". Outsports, December 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel pay tribute to late coach". Toronto Sun, October 24, 2013.