More Out Athletes To Compete In This Summer’s Olympic Games Than Ever Before

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“Being able to compete with the best in the world as my most authentic self at the biggest international multi-sport games shows how far we’ve come on inclusion in sport.”

More out LGBTQ+ athletes will compete in the Tokyo Olympics than in all previous Olympic Games combined.

Outsports reports that at least 121 out athletes will compete this summer, doubling the number who competed in Rio five years ago. In 2012, Outsports counted only 23 out athletes in the London Games. 

The United States leads the pack with over 30 out athletes, including Megan Rapinoe, Kelly O’Hara, Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. Great Britain will field at least 13 out athletes, Netherlands and Canada 11 each, and New Zealand and Australia 8 each. Among the other countries represented by out athletes are Brazil, France, Venezuela, Tonga, India, Sweden, Philippines, Poland, and Cyprus. 

Out women athletes outnumber their men’s counterparts by a margin of 7 to 1. Women’s soccer features the most out athletes, with a total of 30, than any other event. 

“Being able to compete with the best in the world as my most authentic self at the biggest international multi-sport games shows how far we’ve come on inclusion in sport,” Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer, who came out in 2020, told Outsports. “I’m hoping that by competing at these Games I can show the LGBTQ community that we do belong and we can achieve anything we put our minds to.”

There will be at least one notable absence on the list of LGBTQ+ athletes competing this summer. Out American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who received a one-month suspension after testing positive for marijuana in June, will not be competing in Tokyo.


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