(September 7, 1969 - living) U.S.A.
Champion ice skater
Born as Val Joe Galindo in San Jose, CA, he lives in Reno, NV. Galindo is a Mexican-American figure skater. His amateur career was from 1977 to 1996, then on September 10, 1996 he turned professional. He was 1996 U.S. national champion. He designs his own costumes.
He overcame many obstacles in his climb to the Men's U.S. National Title in January, 1996, as an openly gay man (and the oldest men's champion in 70 years, at age 26, and the first Mexican-American). Dick Button said of Rudy's rehearsals that "it appeared as if he were being lifted by Angels."
Rudy's book, Icebreaker; the Autobiography of Rudy Galindo, written with Eric Marcus, is out in three versions: the original 1997 hard cover publication, the later 1997 paperback with an updated chapter, and the Spanish edition, Autobiografia de Rudy Galindo, all published by Pocket Books.
Peter Gambaccini reviewed Dan Woog's book, Jocks: True Stories of America's Gay Male Athletes, published by Alyson Books, in June 30, 1998, issue of Village Voice. In the article, Gambaccini states, "Among American men, only figure skater Rudy Galindo came out while still at his athletic apogee."
"I'm an openly gay trailer-trash Mexican. How could they not love me?"
Later on, the November 19, 1998, issue of PlanetOut News further clarified Rudy's position in the skating world, "The only top skater to voluntarily publicly identify himself as gay while still active in the sport is U.S. Professional Rudy Galindo." Rudy still stands alone in this category.
Washington Post reporter Christine Brennan, in her new book Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey Into the Secret World of Figure Skating (which "lists some of the more than 100 skating-related men who have died of AIDS complications [including coaches, choreographers, and skaters past and present], and those who are living with AIDS"), said "Galindo's victory ...was one of the grandest upsets in figure skating history...Galindo landed eight triple jumps, and each was lofty, lilting and perfect."
Rudy started his competitive ice skating career in pairs, with Kristi Yamaguchi; together, they won two American titles. As a single skater, he had never placed higher than 5th in the seniors (18 and older) division. In 1991, Yamaguchi left him to pursue singles (she won the gold medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics). Galindo was reportedly "devastated" at her decision and began experimenting with drugs.
"Galindo spent most of 1995 training others because he had no funds for his own career. He says if the championships hadn't been held in his own hometown, San Jose, he might not have competed. His sister and coach, his 'Bank of Laura,' helped finance Galindo's return to competition."
April 5, 2000, Rudy reported that he is living with HIV. Rudy is open and honest, reflective, yet optimistic, "I've made my mistakes, but I want to tell everyone that 'safe sex' is not an empty slogan. People always think that it can't happen to them, but it can. I didn't want to hide this illness. I didn't want to live a lie. I've always wanted to be truthful." He assumed a role as Honorary Co-chairperson of the National Minority AIDS Council and promoted the organization's education campaign on HIV-related anemia.