By Christine Siamanta Kinori
For the first time in the history of the Olympics, there are over 170 LGBTQ+ athletes competing in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, leading many to refer to the Tokyo Olympics as the Rainbow Olympics. With the world watching, many athletes have chosen to use the opportunity to advocate for equality. Others hope that the increase in the number of LGBTQ+ athletes is a reflection of the growing acceptance not only in sports, but the society at large. Here are 10 of the amazingly talented LGBTQ+ athletes who are making history in the Tokyo Olympics.
➤ LAUREL HUBBARD FROM TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Hubbard is the first transgender woman to compete in the Olympics games. Although she is yet to take home a medal, she still made history and inspired trans athletes from all over the world.
➤ KATARZYNA ZILLMAN FROM TEAM POLAND
Zillman is a Polish rower who came out after receiving a Silver medal in the women’s quadruple sculls. She thanked her girlfriend for her support and spoke on the need to use her platform to help others understand the LGBTQ+ community.
➤ EMMA TWIGG FROM TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Twigg is a New Zealand rower who won her fourth Gold in the Tokyo olympic. This was her first Olympics after coming out .
➤ TOM DALEY FROM TEAM GREAT BRITAIN
Daley is an openly gay British diver who took home the Gold medal for men’s synchronized 10m platform.
➤ ALANA SMITH FROM TEAM USA
Smith made history as the first open non binary skateboarder. They shared an inspiring message on Instagram on how they felt proud to be skating in the Olympics.
➤ ANA MARCELA CUNHA FROM TEAM BRAZIL
Cunha is an openly queer swimmer from Brazil who won the Gold medal in the 10 km marathon swimming event.
➤ NESTHY PETECIO FROM TEAM PHILIPPINES
Petecio is a Philippines boxer who won a Silver medal in the women’s featherweight 60kg boxing. She later dedicated her win to her country, coaches, and the LGBTQ+ community.
➤ ASTRID GUYART FROM TEAM FRANCE
Guyart is a French fencer who won the Silver medal in the women’s team foil. She recently came out during Pride month.
➤ LUCILLA BOARI FROM TEAM ITALY
Boari publicly came out after winning the Bronze medal in the individual archery event. Her girlfriend’s congratulatory message during an interview moved the Olympian and she simply came out.
➤ STEFANIE DOLSON FROM TEAM USA
Dolson brought home the first-ever gold medal for an out American Olympian after winning in the women’s 3-on-3 basketball event.
About the Author:
Christine Siamanta Kinori grew up in a little village in Kenya known as Loitoktok near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. All she wanted to do when she grew up was to explore the world. Her curiosity led her to join Nairobi University to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She later got a job with an amazing travel magazine Nomad Africa which gave her the opportunity to explore Africa. She also writes for numerous travel websites about Africa and tries to create a new narrative in the media about our aesthetic continent.
Christine claims to have somewhat unhealthy addiction to TV and reading, as it is a fun way to keep herself occupied during the long journeys for her travel writing. She is also a believer of letting people be their beautiful selves. To her, love is love and it is the greatest gift we have as humans.