The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have had around 160 queer athletes competing. Here are the first openly transgender athletes who marked their presence at the Olympics
Tokyo Olympics 2020 saw the number of queer athletes escalate from 23 in the 2012 London Games to 56 in the 2016 Rio Games and now a massive rise to160 this year. This is the highest number of openly LGBT+ competitors the Olympics have ever observed. Among them, let’s talk about the first openly nonbinary and transgender athletes to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.
First Openly Transgender Athletes To Compete At Tokyo Olympics 2020
Quinn (Canadian Footballer)
The midfielder from the Canadian women’s soccer team stated that they preferred the pronouns they/them after coming out as nonbinary and transgender last year on Instagram. Though they felt proud when they saw their name up on the lineup, knowing that the Olympians before them were unable to live their truth, saddened them.
Alana Smith (American Skateboarder)
Alana Smith may not have performed as well they would have liked to. However, as Smith said, their goal going into the Olympics “was to be happy and be a visual representation” for humans like them. With a skateboard emblazoned with their pronouns, Smith donned a genuine smile and walked out proud of being unapologetically themselves.
Chelsea Wolfe (American Cyclist)
Cyclist Chelsea Wolfe is a reserve BMX rider and the first openly trans athlete for the American squad. However, she will only compete in Tokyo if one of the two qualifying squad members, Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas, drop out. She came out as transgender in 2014, and commented how she was mainly welcomed and undermined.
Laurel Hubbard (New Zealand Weightlifter)
New Zealander Laurel Hubbard is set to compete in the women’s 87-kg weightlifting category. Hubbard said that she was “grateful and humbled by the kindness and support” New Zealanders have given her. Even though she met the International Olympic Committee’s testosterone criteria for trans athletes, Hubbard’s participation remains a contentious bone, with respect to her having an unfair advantage or not.
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