Olympians send powerful message to LGBT+ community ahead of crucial hockey showdown

Olympics Netherlands LGBT+

The Netherlands women’s hockey team literally stood in solidarity with the LGBT+ community and other marginalised groups in an incredible on-field display ahead of their game against South Africa.

Before winning 5-0 on Wednesday (28 July), the entire team stood in the shape of a heart to show support for equality in all forms.

Sharing a photo of the heart-shaped formation on Instagram, the team wrote: “Respect and acceptance are two of our team’s core values, respecting and accepting people from every race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, ability and age.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OranjeHockey (@oranjehockey)

“We strive to continually develop and educate ourselves to become the change we wish to see in the world.

“We stand united against all forms of discrimination.”

At least one member of the Netherlands women’s hockey team is openly queer, reserve goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Anne Veenendaal (@anneveenendaal)

Veenendaal recently said, in a column for Noordhollands Dagblad, that although as a reserve she is not allowed to sit on the bench with the other players, she will be loudly cheering on her team from the stands.

She said: “It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting there [in the stands] or in the goal, I’m just as fanatical.

“My vocal cords will be broken. Although I don’t know if you can shout in the stadium with the corona rules.”

Netherlands hockey player Anne Veenendaal adds to the long list of queer athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are officially the queerest Olympics in history.

At least 168 openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer and non-binary athletes at competing in Tokyo, 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 de Janeiro, when just 56 openly queer people participated.