Publisher: MLR Press (February 7th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts
Blurb: Former lovers meet again in Sochi and have a chance to learn that a gold medal isn’t the greatest prize you can win at the Olympics.
After the knee injury, Liam O’Connor, the former gold medalist, is no longer able to compete in the Olympics. He’s in Sochi as an assistant coach for another male figure skater and hopes to avoid Eric Lanney as much as possible. Meanwhile Eric is back to compete for gold in pair skating, but is that the only thing that will be important to him? Maybe when the former lovers meet again in Russia, they will both learn that a gold medal isn’t the greatest prize you can win at the Winter Olympics.
Purchase Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ML_ROFTE
Review: This was yet another story that broached the issue of same-sex love and the controversy that brewed with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. This story however had another layer which added a wealth of rich meaning to what it really means to accept who you are despite what the world may think or what you think you need to do in order to achieve your goals and dreams.
Eric and Liam were lovers,who broke up because one of them could not deal with the pressure of being in a gay relationship while pursuing their sport. When Liam loses his ability to compete and must find a new life for himself, he must deal with that personal anguish. He must then also deal with the relationship he had which ended badly and still has never been truly resolved. Eric on the other hand must fight his own personal demons and determine for himself what is most important to him if he is to be truly happy.
This story when measured against the backdrop of the Sochi issue, which required gay men and women to not be true to themselves in order to compete at a world-class level provides a very humbling dichotomy and throws equality back some fifty years. Layering Eric and Liam’s relationship and what broke them up in the first place and their being able to find each other again and accept their new reality, how they feel and have always felt about each other and accept who and what they both need to do and be in order to be happy is the theme which makes this short story one which is a great read.