tv First Look NBC January 30, 2022 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
laying] david wise: if the snow goes away, then my job goes away. and all the things that i love to do in the wintertime go away. i would really love for my grandkids to be able to go skiing with me. so that's why i feel like it's something that we have to move on now. abby roque: i should realize how rare it is to get people of color in the sport. it was just realizing how disappointing it was that there wasn't a lot of bipoc people playing hockey, because it can be such a light for so many people. jessie diggins: you can replace a medal. you can make a new one. you always have that memory. but we have one planet. we have one shot. timothy leduc: for me as a person that exists and really thrives outside of the binary, it
can be-- it can be very complicated sometimes navigating a gendered sport. hi, i'm nbclx storyteller, ngozi ekeledo. and i'm joined by my co-host, apolo ohno. he's team usa's most decorated winter olympian, a best-selling author, and even a "dancing with the stars" champion. apolo ohno: thank you, ngozi. this is "my new favorite olympian," where we introduce you to some of the most inspiring members of team usa, not just because of how they're dominating the competition, but because of what they're doing when the cameras are off. [music playing] this season, we are profiling a handful of winter athletes who have certainly become favorites of mine, like free skier, david wise, who moved his family off the grid and started hunting for his own food to try and minimize his carbon footprint to fight climate change. or openly non-binary figure skater timothy leduc, who's
using their time on the ice to make the sport more welcoming to all people, regardless of their gender identity. apolo ohno: but first, a member of team usa's women's hockey team, who's hoping her time in the spotlight will help her inspire more indigenous children to get involved in the sport she loves. abby roque's hockey dream started in her backyard in michigan's frosty upper peninsula, the up. ngozi ekeledo: in a grainy home video, you can hear her dad behind the camera praising her shooting skills. abby roque: i think a lot of my memories from early childhood aren't necessarily in organized hockey as much as my backyard when i would invite my friends over, and we would just play shinny. ngozi ekeledo: shinny is a native american sport with curved stick and a ball that's somewhere between hockey and lacrosse. abby played it growing up, because like a lot of kids in her hometown, she's indigenous. apolo ohno: but once she got to college, things changed. when my teammates, some of them
found out i was indigenous, they were like, you're indigenous? and some of them were like, i think you're the first like native person i know. and i was like, what? what do you mean? i'm like, that is so crazy to me that you guys don't have this representation, or even see this representation at all. apolo ohno: today, abby is one of a handful of indigenous athletes in professional hockey, not just in the united states, but in all of the americas, an honor for her. but also, a sign of a big problem. i should realize how rare it is to get people of color in the sport. and i think at that point was when my identity became-- i wouldn't say more important, but more apparent that i think-- you-- anybody can play hockey. and anybody can excel at it. and it should be for everybody. because it's such a great sport that has brought me so much good in my life. for me, it was just realizing how disappointing it was that there wasn't a lot of bipoc people playing hockey, because it is such-- it can be such a light for so many people. apolo, when you think of ice hockey, who are the first athletes that come to mind?
obviously, wayne gretzky. i love watching alexander ovechkin and sidney crosby. and hilary knight and kendall coyne schofield always dominate for team usa. all amazing athletes. but also, all of them are white. that's not too surprising, since in 2020, out of the 700 players in the nhl, there were only 43 players of color. wow, only 43? yeah. i don't think i really watch tj oshie until i was probably a little older. i think high school was really when he came into my view. i think it was in high school when he went-- when he was at the olympics, and he scored like three or four goals in the shootout in a row, or something crazy, i remember. and we were all watching. and he was actually somebody at that point, who was visibly indigenous. announcer: oshie and bobrovsky duel again. score! team usa wins. apolo ohno: here's tj oshie. i feel a lot of you know, pride that she was able to see that.
and that, in one way or, another motivated her to make that her goal. it means a lot to me that you know, what i-- what i love to do and what i do for fun and what i've chosen to make you know, my dream and my career can make a positive impact on-- on young indigenous kids around the us. so just like abby roque was inspired by her indigenous athletes before her, she is now using her platform to support young female and indigenous players. i get a lot of messages just from younger girls who are playing in a lot of male-dominated hockey communities, honestly, who just want to talk to somebody who did that. i've had that happen on multiple occasions. and it's just something that i love to do, because it's not a hard thing to do. you like pick up the phone. and you get to talk to somebody who loves hockey and wants to play. if you can go be somewhere and be visible and help kids like grow the game, and help kids learn how to play, try to give back.
and i think you should always want to help more people play hockey. and that is kind of what stuck with me from growing up where i did. and growing up now, it's just you always want to help the game be better. [music playing] timothy leduc: and i was in a very christian, conservative environment, going to church so many times a week. i believed the lies that i was told-- that i was an abomination. apolo ohno: and timothy's parents believed those lies too. mike leduc: our first reaction i remember, was-- i mean, inside, it was a little bit of a shock and a little bit of-- of-- very troubling at the time because of our background.
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apolo ohno: that's timothy leduc mom becky leduc, speaking from her home in cedar rapids, iowa, with her husband mike, about timothy coming out as gay. timothy leduc: it was very difficult with my family at first. but i was in a very christian, conservative environment, going to church so many times a week. i believed the lies that i was told-- that i was an abomination. apolo ohno: and timothy's parents believed those lies too. mike leduc: our first reaction, i remember, was-- i mean, inside, it was a little bit of a shock, and a little bit of-- of-- you know, very troubling at the time because of our background. apolo ohno: the second time timothy came out, timothy was 28 years old. and this time, it was about something else. and it wasn't in the darkness of the moon. this time, there was a little less fear, a little more light, and a lot more pride. timothy leduc: very broadly speaking, gender is one's internal sense of self as male or female, both or neither. it's different from biological sex, which is a person's physical traits. through a lot of introspection, through seeking authenticity,
i found that i exist outside of the binary. so i don't align perfectly with-- with manhood or with womanhood. ngozi ekeledo: in 2018, timothy told their parents their pronouns are they, them. apolo ohno: and that identity is a successful figure skater, outside the rigid male, female gender identities, makes some see timothy as a paradox. ngozi ekeledo: if you see timothy in a lineup of figure skaters, chances are they'll stand out. a thick dark beard takes up almost half their face, giving way to vibrant eyeshadow and glitter that makes their eyes hard to miss. timothy leduc: for me, as a person that exists and really thrives outside of the binary, it can be-- it can be very complicated sometimes navigating a gendered sport. there are going to be the people that don't understand it. you know, they look at me. they see that i have a beard. or they look at maybe my physical characteristics and say, you're a boy. acts like a boy. what do you-- what are you doing? ngozi ekeledo: i feel like if you want to get a sense of how unique timothy and ashley are as a pair,
you have to watch their pairs free skate at the 2019 us figure skating championships. [music playing] i love that performance. it's striking for several reasons. commentator: this was a stunning performance. apolo ohno: timothy and ashley came out dressed in black and gray, their posture just commanding attention. another difference is pointed out by a comment on the youtube video of their performance. it reads, "this is the first time seeing a female figure skater wearing pants. she looks very powerful." we called it two pillars of strength, because the message is two amazing athletes coming together to create something beautiful. apolo ohno: here's timothy's skating partner, ashley cain gribble. ashley cain-gribble: when timothy and i teamed up, we never wanted to be what was looked at as the traditional team.
we never wanted to be-- they always have the storyline of the male is super masculine and strong and always has to come in and save the girl, who-- this like wilted little flower and is weak. or it was a full-on love story, where obviously, a male and a female fall in love with each other. timothy leduc: i don't think ashley was really ever interested in being the fragile girl. she's such a powerful, amazing athlete. so for her, when i kind of came to her and said, you know, i don't really want to do this romantic style. it doesn't really seem like us. she was like, heck, yeah, i'm good with that. ngozi ekeledo: timothy and ashley's story is fascinating on its own. but it's even more impressive when you consider the context the sport of figure skating has existed in. timothy leduc: i was-- was raked over the coals for wearing rhinestones. and it wasn't butch enough. it wasn't masculine enough. it wasn't the all-american boy that america really wanted to sell.
announcer: now, johnny weir-- joy behar: two canadian commentators said that your mannerisms-- listen to this-- might hurt other men competing in skating, saying that you should get a gender test. and i felt very defiant when i saw these comments. i felt that it-- it wasn't these two men criticizing my skating. it wasn't them criticizing my-- my-- my anything. it was them criticizing me as a person. ngozi ekeledo: that voice you just heard is two-time olympic figure skater johnny weir shortly after competing in the 2010 vancouver winter olympics. johnny weir: i was was raked over the coals for wearing rhinestones. and it wasn't butch enough. it wasn't masculine enough. it wasn't the all-american boy that america really wanted to sell. sometimes a sport like figure skating can feel very specific. like, you have to fit into this box. and figure skating-- you think back to these ice princesses, and these beautiful sparkly sequined dresses, and you think america's sweetheart.
and there have been all these terms that have you know, you associate with figure skating, because people just kept using that and kept expecting that from the sport that you never really opened your mind to more possibilities. and what i think timothy is doing so well is-- is showing the world that you don't have to. can be yourself. you can go out there. you can live your truth, and you can achieve incredible things. timothy leduc: i never want anyone to feel shame for parts of themselves because they've come into figure skating. you know, i think of skaters like me, who maybe want to put on makeup and go out and skate in a costume that maybe is-- is unusual or different. but maybe they wouldn't do those things, because they feel like the judges aren't going to give them as good of scores. johnny weir: my hope is that the people that came before me that had a harder time, and then me having slightly less of a hard time, and then skaters like adam rippon having you know, a celebrated time shortly
after me. and now, timothy leduc living their best life in front of the world. i hope that slowly but surely, figure skating will get with the times and become a more genuine and loving place. it's always been a beautiful place. david wise: i've been able to watch the glacier just recede. you can read a million things, and you can know that it's a problem. and you can understand scientifically why it's a problem. but when you see it actually happening, and you're like, wow, that glacier is literally 1,000 feet above where it was when i first came here, or 1,500 feet above, it kind of puts things in perspective for you.
♪ brock crouch: well, i remember crossing through the mountains and seeing that long open landscape. it's big, it's wild, it's unknown. you know, one of the things we value while we are traveling, is it allows us to relate to each other differently, and bring us closer. as a family, you bring these little humans into the world. and you only have so much time with them, you just got to use it well.
apolo ohno: brock crouch was filming a snowboarding video in british columbia in april 2018 when his life changed forever. my whole face was messed up. i had like rocks up in my teeth and stuff. i just remember like asking if the camera guy on the other peak had eyes on me. he's like, i don't really see you. and then all of a sudden, it was just like, avalanche avalanche, avalanche on the radio. i grew up surfing in southern california. and i kind of tell everybody that it felt like i was just in a huge ball of whitewash forever. and i couldn't really-- i just kept seeing like blue and snow and blue and snow, blue and snow. and then i just remember getting down to the bottom and was really buried.
it was like a black hole. and i just remember saying, i love snowboarding. it'll be a gift from god if i make it out of this. i was fully passed out. and i woke up to them like clapping above my face, because that's where you're supposed to do to try and bring someone back. yeah, super thankful to still be here, that's for sure. apolo ohno: avalanches are on the rise. and scientists blame the weather variability caused by climate change. we are coming off of a winter where 37 people died in avalanches in the united states, the most in recorded history. the effects of climate change are very real, and they're affecting everyone. i think that we, as winter sports athletes are the canaries in the coal mine. apolo ohno: that's two-time olympic champion david wise. david wise: we get to experience winter more intimately than anybody else does. our livelihood depends on it. and having our winters be more and more questionable and volatile, really hit us closest to home.
we spoke to david while the freestyle skier was training in saas-fee, switzerland. ironically, i mean, i'm talking about this from one of the first places that i really got to experience climate change firsthand. i think the first time i came over here was 15 years ago. and the glacier was almost down like, down to the town. and i've been able to watch the glacier just recede. and so i think scientifically, we all-- you can read a million things. and you can know that it's a problem, and you can understand scientifically why it's a problem. but when you see it actually happening, and you're like, wow, that glacier is literally 1,000 feet above where it was when i first came here, or 1,500 feet above, it kind of puts things in perspective for you. ngozi ekeledo: david is right. a recent study found that glaciers in the nearby french alps lost an average of 25% of their surface area between 2003 and 2015.
and the rate of shrinkage has nearly tripled. david wise: if the snow goes away, then my job goes away. and all the things that i love to do in the wintertime go away. the reality is there's things that were a significant part of my lifetime and a significant part of my career as a skier that are not going to be available to my kids by the time they're-- by the time they're my age. and i would really love for my grandkids to be able to go skiing with me. so that's why i feel like it's something that we have to move on now. apolo ohno: protect our winters organizes trips that bring winter olympians to capitol hill to urge congress to take action on climate change. one of those trips was in 2018 on the heels of the pyeongchang olympics. it was very scary. i remember really just being alarmed at how much my hands could sweat in a single day. apolo ohno: that's cross-country skier, jessie diggins. you might remember her from what might be one of the greatest play-by-play calls in olympic history.
commentator 1: sweden, the us, and norway coming to the line. commentator 2: (screaming excitedly) here come diggins. here comes diggins. commentator 1: diggins making the play around sweden. jessie diggins to the line. commentator 2: (screaming excitedly) yes! yes! commentator 1: and it is jessie diggins delivering a landmark moment that will be etched in us olympic history. apolo ohno: armed with the first-ever olympic gold medal won by an american in cross-country skiing, jessie turned heads when she set foot on capitol hill. so we can use athletes to help get in the door and say, hey, you want to shake the hand of a gold medalist? and also, listen to our scientists who are very smart. and so it's kind of the one-two punch of trying to figure out how to make a difference. apolo ohno: when congressional representatives held her medal that day, jessie pointed to the chip at the top of the medal. jessie diggins: you can replace a medal. you can make a new one. you always have that memory. but we have one planet. we have one shot. we can't screw this up. like, this is an irreplaceable item that affects everyone on the planet. and so it is important that we get this right with the time
we have. i'm worried about the future of our sport. and i really want you know, my kids and grandkids to be able to ski someday and experience the sport that i love so much. i don't want to be the generation that ruins it for everybody else. apolo ohno: when there is not enough real snow, event organizers are forced to use manmade snow, which makes winter sports more dangerous. jessie diggins: real snow is so much softer, right? so one, if you fall, you have snow banks on the side of the course. you're not sliding off into rocks and trees and mud, where you could actually get very hurt. now that we're moving to much more manmade snow, the course is getting faster and icier is actually a little bit dangerous for us. because if you start sliding, you're going to keep sliding on ice. and so we have seen, i think, more injuries because of this. this doesn't have to be a political issue. it doesn't have to be a split among party lines. it can be no, you know what? we're all on the same planet. we all breathe the same air. we all have to get through this together.
maybe this is something that needs to be bipartisan. and maybe we can take the politics out of it to the extent where we all need to care about this. david wise: our 10-year goal is to be completely off the grid. my family and i are doing our very best to reduce our carbon footprint, get as self-sustainable lifestyle as we can, hunting and growing our own food, and kind of having a little bit of a tiny farm. apolo ohno: that's right. david has stopped buying meat from the grocery store and instead hunts on his property in nevada. david wise: mostly hunt with a bow, because it's just a little bit more pure. it's a little bit more difficult. apolo ohno: david's goal is to inspire his followers to become more environmentally conscious by chronicling both the successes and the challenges of his sustainability journey on his family's instagram page, wiseoffthegrid. hey, this should be easier. here's my journey to do this. and i want to see it become easier and easier for everybody who wants to follow in my footsteps.
ngozi ekeledo: for more inspiring stories like these, look for "my new favorite olympian" wherever you get your podcasts. and if you like what you hear, head to lx.com for coverage of the winter olympics you won't find anywhere else. [music playing] this broadcast is presented by the authority of olympic and paralympic committee, and may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express written consent of united states olympic and paralympic committee. [music playing]
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. right now at 5:00, a major crash in the east bay leaves a number of people murpt new video from the scene and the latest from firefighters. plus, big changes in the bay area when it comes to the pandemic from masks to vaccines. what you can expect this week. first, calls for justice from the asian american community one year since the unprovoked attack on a thai grandfather in san francisco. >> the news at 5:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us. i'm terry mcsweeney. >> i'm audrey asistio. they rallied to cme