13 LGBTQ+ Athletes to Cheer On at the 2018 Winter Olympics
The Olympics are in full swing and we are rooting for team queer! The 2012 Summer Games in London was host to 23 openly out LGBTQ+ athletes, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio reported 56 publicly out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes.
Being a publicly out Olympic athlete was not always widely accepted. Kiwi speed skater Blake Skjellerup said, “The world of sports is perceived as a masculine-dominant environment.” Many queer Olympians feared coming out publically due to being perceived as weak, less capable than their heterosexual competitors, or for fear of being evaluated unfairly, by both a panel of judges and fans. Luckily, the Olympics have made great strides in social justice movements towards equality and competitive fairness.
This year, there are 13 out and proud LGBTQ+ athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics:
Eric Radford: Team Canada, Figure Skating (Pairs)
Gus Kenworthy: Team USA, Freestyle Skiing
Adam Rippon: Team USA, Figure Skating
Brittany Bowe: Team USA, Speed Skater
Ireen Wust: Team Netherlands, Speed Skating (Long Track)
Cheryl Maas: Team Netherlands, Snowboarding
Belle Brockhoff: Team Australia, Snowboarding
Sarka Pancochova: Team Czech Republic, Snowboarding
Emilia Andersson Ramboldt: Team Sweden, Ice Hockey
Barbara Jezeršek: Team Australia, Cross-Country Skiing
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz: Team Austria, Ski Jumping
Simona Meiler: Team Switzerland, Snowboarding
Jorik Hendrickx: Team Belgium, Figure Skating
Who are your favourite LGBTQ+ Olympic athletes? Comment below!