Queer Paralympic cyclist clinches medal after thrilling, record-breaking pursuit

Silver medalists Katie-George Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal of Team Ireland pose during the women's B 3000m Individual pursuit track cycling medal ceremony on day 4 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 28, 2021 in Izu, Japan.

Ireland’s LGBT+ community is celebrating after queer para-cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy won a silver medal at the Paralympic Games.

Dunlevy said she was “speechless” after she and cycling partner Eve McCrystal won silver in the B 3000-Metre Individual Para Cycling event on Saturday (28 August).

The pair even set a new world record when they finished the round in 3.19.946 – but British team Lora Fachie and Corinne Hall beat their time, claiming a gold medal in the process.

“I’m in a bit of shock, it is absolutely amazing,” Dunlevy said afterwards, according to The Irish Times.

“If someone said to me before that I would get a medal in the pursuit I would never have thought it in my wildest dreams. We were hoping to do a good ride and get a PB.

“To get that and a world record, I’m just speechless.”

Paralympian Katie-George Dunlevy was congratulated by Ireland’s president

Her cycling partner McCrystal said “no stone was left unturned” by their coach Neill Delahaye and the team at Cycling Ireland.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Katie-George Dunlevy (@katiegdunlevy)

“To get that performance, I just can’t believe it. I’m so proud of Katie and I know she is proud of me – I am just so happy that we did this.”

The pair were congratulated on their remarkable achievement by Michael D Higgins, president of Ireland, as well as Irish minister for sport Catherine Martin.

Dunlevy was named as one of a record number of openly LGBT+ athletes taking part in the Paralymic Games by Outsports before the event kicked off.

She is one of at least 33 publicly LGBT+ people competing at the Paralymics, which is almost three times the number of queer people that took part in the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.

The United States and United Kingdom are currently tied as the countries with the highest number of openly LGBT+ Paralympians, with nine participants from each country.

Outsports‘ list shows an alarming discrepancy between the number of openly LGBT+ male and female athletes. There is just one openly queer man taking part in the Paralymic Games.

Meanwhile, there are at least three non-binary or gender neutral Paralympic athletes participating in the games.