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This year’s Olympics in Japan is ‘different’ than all of the previous ones--I don’t just mean that it’s happening during the COVID pandemic, it’s also the one that has the largest number of athletes who are openly a part of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, there are currently 168 athletes who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, maybe even more as there are some athletes who aren’t open about their sexuality. What’s even more impressive is that if all of the LGBTQ+ athletes were representing a country, they would be ranked 14th in the world in the number of medals won.
Here are some of the athletes making headlines:
Tom Daley: After having won a bronze medal in diving when he was just 18 in the 2012 Olympics, he won a gold medal this week in the men's synchronized diving competition along with his diving partner, Matty Lee.
Megan Rapinoe: Megan’s skills as a soccer player, her unflinching support for LGBTQ+ rights and amazing hair color has placed her on the map as one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ athletes in the Olympics and in the soccer world. She has already won a gold medal back in 2012 and a world cup winner as well.
Chelsea Wolfe: Chelsea was the first trans athlete to qualify for the Olympics from the USA team. She will be serving as an alternate in the BMX freestyle event.
The reason why this year’s Olympics is particularly special for trans people is that this is the first time there are trans athletes competing. Trans athletes were able to participate in the Olympics back in 2004, but it wasn’t until this year that trans athletes actually participated.
This is amazing news; while the number may seem small, it was by far much much larger than it was before and it's important that athletes from all over the world, are able to express who they are and what they do wholeheartedly without fear of judgement or retribution. I hope that this will be a gateway in helping other LGBTQ+ athletes come out and be open about who they are in the future.
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