Record Number of LGBTQ Athletes Set To Compete At The Tokyo Olympics

A record 121 out LGBTQ athletes are set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, more than doubling the number from the last Olympics in Rio. 30 of those athletes will be representing the USA, including soccer star Megan Rapinoe and WNBA superstar Sue Bird, the most from any nation participating in these games. 

Diving superstar Tom Daley will once represent the United Kingdom making this his FOURTH Olympic games! He will be joined by 14 other British athletes competing for the gold and glory in Tokyo.  

Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer spoke to Outsports about what it means to participate as an Out athlete,

Competing at the Olympics as an openly gay athlete is pretty amazing. 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. 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.”

Thormeyer publicly came out in 2020, four years after competing in the Rio games. Outsports credits social media, among other factors, in the rise of out athletes,

“The massive increase in the number of out athletes reflects the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in sports and society. The rise of social media, especially Instagram, has given athletes a forum where they can live their lives openly and identify directly with their followers.”

Here’s the list of Team USA’s out athletes and the sports they’ll be participating in:

Basketball: Sue Bird, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, and Diana Taurasi.

BMX Freestyle: Perris Benegas, Hannah Roberts, and Chelsea Wolfe.

Boxing: Rashida Ellis, Canoe Slalom, and Evy Leibfarth.

Equestrian: Domien Michiels and Nick Wagman.

Rowing: Kendall Chase, Gia Doonan, Meghan O’Leary, Ellen Tomek, and Julian Venonsky.

Rugby: Alev Kelter and Kristen Thomas.

Skateboarding: Alexis Sablone and Alana Smith.

Soccer: Tierna Davidson, Adrianna Franch, Kelly O’Hara, and Megan Rapinoe.

Softball: Ally Carda, Amanda Chidester, Taylor Edwards, and Haylie McCleney.

Swimming: Erica Sullivan.

Track and field: Erica Bougard and Raven Saunders.

Wrestling: Kayla Miracle

 

The Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, July 23rd. 

photo credit: Mercedes Mehling. Unsplash.com

 


Sources: LGBTQ Nation, Time, Outsports

 

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