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LGBTQ Athletes At The Tokyo Olympics

By Charlotte Robinson, July 13, 2021


There will be more out LGBTQ athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics that takes place Friday July 23rd to Sunday August 8th than all the previous Summer Olympics combined. At least 121 publicly out LGBTQ athletes are headed to Tokyo for the Summer Olympic Games which is more than double the number who participated at the 2016 Rio Games. According to Outsports Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer stated, “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 & we can achieve anything we put our minds to.” Outsports also reports that the United States has the most out athletes at the Tokyo Olympics with more than 30 LGBTQ out athletes. Team USA is currently followed in the number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes by Britain (13), Netherlands (11), Canada (11), Australia (8) & New Zealand (8). Lesbians on the list outnumber gay men by about a 7-1 margin with women’s soccer having more than 30 out players. Unfortunately Japan has failed to improve LGBTQ Rights ahead of the Olympics but Japanese athletes are coming out anyways. Gon Matsunaka head of the Japan’s first permanent LGBTQ community center hopes the games will prove a catalyst in creating a society in which LGBTQ discrimination is no longer accepted & diversity is embraced. So let’s cheer on our brave & talented out Olympians & take advantage of this global opportunity to further LGBTQ equality. 

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