‘Team LGBTQ’ Scores Big At The Tokyo Games

Out LGBTQ+ athletes scored a total of 32 medals in the Tokyo Games, which wrapped up on Sunday.

Out LGBTQ+ athletes scored a total of 32 medals in the Tokyo Games, which wrapped up on Sunday.

If “Team LGBTQ” were a country, it would have placed seventh in the final medal count, according to Outsports, ahead of the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy. The count includes 11 gold medals, 12 silver medals, and 9 bronze medals.

The total tally for LGBTQ+ athletes also places “Team LGBTQ” ahead of all competing countries where homosexuality is currently criminalized, including Kenya and Jamaica.  

Among this year’s notable medalists were polish rower Katarzyna Zillman and Italian archer Lucilla Boari, who both came out publicly to the press following their wins. Great Britain’s Tom Daley edged out the Chinese divers to take gold in men’s synchronized platform diving, and later won bronze in the individual event. And Raven Saunders of the United States won the silver medal in shot put.

Women’s team sports included a number of out athletes, including the United States’ bronze-winning soccer team with four out athletes; the gold medal-winning basketball team, with five out athletes; and the Canadian gold medal-winning women’s soccer team, with five out players and coach Bev Priestman, who also identifies as LGBTQ+. 

American powerhouse couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird walked away with two medals, a bronze for Rapinoe in women’s soccer and a gold for Bird after the women’s national basketball team defeated Japan in the final. The couple shared a kiss following Bird’s win. 

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became one of the first out transwomen to compete in the Games this year, while Canadian soccer player Quinn became the first out trans individual to medal in any Games. 

Over 180 out athletes competed at this year’s Games, more than in any other previous Games combined.


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