Tokyo Olympics to welcome record number of LGBT+ athletes – more than every other Olympics combined
A record number of LGBT+ athletes are set to compete at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, with the United States sending more queer athletes than any other country.
At least 186 openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer and non-binary athletes are set to descend on Tokyo for the games, according to analysis by Outsports.
The number of LGBT+ athletes competing at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo is three times the number that took part in the 2016 event in Rio, when 56 openly queer people participated.
Notably, there are more out LGBT+ athletes taking part this year than have taken part in all previous Summer Olympic Games combined, according to Outsports.
Twenty-five countries are sending openly LGBT+ athletes to participate in the 2021 Olympics, with the United States topping the charts with more than 30 queer athletes.
Team USA is followed in the ranking by Canada, which is sending 17 LGBT+ athletes to Tokyo. Canada is followed by Britain (16), the Netherlands (16), Brazil (14), Australia (12) and New Zealand (10).
Outsports has included reserve athletes who are practicing with their teams and travelling to Tokyo for the Games in its ranking.
The sports outlet included athletes on its list that have either come out through the media or are living their lives openly on social media.
LGBT+ women will outnumber men by a huge margin at the Tokyo Olympics
In total, there are more than 40 openly LGBT+ soccer players, 13 queer basketball players and 14 rugby players taking part in the Olympic Games.
LGBT+ athletes will participate across a number of sports, including skateboarding, boxing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, golf, handball, judo, marathon, rowing, sailing, swimming and many more.
Openly LGBT+ women outnumber men by 7 to 1 at this year’s Olympic Games, Outsports found – a trend that is skewed slightly by the huge number of openly queer female soccer players.
Tom Daley, Carl Hester, Susannah Townsend, Mel Reid, Sarah Jones, Leah Wilkinson, Megan Jones, Rachel Daly and Fran Kirby are among the openly LGBT+ athletes representing Britain at the Olympics.
Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand, is set to make history as the first ever openly trans athlete to compete at the Olympic Games.
There has been widespread celebration among LGBT+ people at the huge number of queer athletes travelling to Tokyo this summer.
Outsports reports that more than double the number of openly #LGBTQ+ athletes will be at the #TokyoOlympics compared to Rio 2016. ?️??️⚧️?
Lots of role-models for aspiring LGBTQ+ athletes and society more broadly to look to and be inspired. ?https://t.co/2KmkcxirnZ
— Richard Morris (@RichardMRacing) July 12, 2021
There were only 7 in Sochi ?https://t.co/BaXGUFa5nS— Anastasia Bucsis (@anastasure) July 12, 2021
#LGBTQ+ representation and visibility at the Rio #Olympics was so inspiring to so many people and now we head into #Tokyo2020 with even more out athletes ?#TeamGB has 13 so far ?️? – the second highest by nation
Thanks Team @outsports for compiling! ?https://t.co/WDtshuvFeC— Sports Media LGBT+ (@SportsMediaLGBT) July 12, 2021
The news was also celebrated by Athlete Ally, an LGBT+ sporting organisation.
“Every out and proud athlete is a beacon for others who haven’t yet come out, or who are unsure if they can be their full self and play the sport they love,” Joanna Hoffman, director of communications told TIME.
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