LGBTQ Athletes Win Many Ways. Quinn, Laurel Hubbard Make Trans, Nonbinary History;
Raven Saunders Challenges All; Medal Count at 20
The second week of the 2020 Summer Olympics is underway, and it has been inundated with LGBTQ greatness. The historic number of out LGBTQ Olympics athletes competing this year, which now stands at 180, have won medals and created historic moments on a daily basis. And that number is guaranteed to grow.
Tops among those moments was Monday’s historic presence of out trans and nonbinary athletes. Canadian soccer player Quinn guaranteed themself an Olympic medal with a stunning upset of the U.S. Women’s national team, becoming the first out trans nonbinary Olympic athlete to win an Olympic medal. They, alongside the rest of Team Canada, will go for the gold against a talented Swedish squad on Friday.
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made her Olympic debut on Monday as well. While she wasn’t able to complete her lifts, officially ruled as a DNF (did not finish), her mere presence on the Olympic stage was a statement unto itself. Hubbard, the first out trans woman to compete at the Olympics, flashed a heart-shaped hand sign and provided an inspirational goal for future trans athletes.
Out boxer Nesthy Petecio captured the Philippines’ first women’s boxing medal ever with her women’s featherweight silver medal Monday. Despite barely missing out on the gold, the moment proved emotional for Petecio. She openly wept on the medal podium as she celebrated her accomplishment and dedicated her performance to the LGBTQ community in her home nation and around the world.
Sticking with boxing, Irish lightweight boxer Kellie Harrington guaranteed herself a medal Monday with her win over Algeria’s Imane Khelif. “I don’t feel anything, I just feel emotions. I don’t know what way I feel,” the gold medal favorite told the Irish Times. She’ll square off against Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in Tuesday’s semifinals.
On the track, Venezuala’s Yulimar Rojas obliterated a decades-old world record on her way to winning gold in the women’s triple jump on Sunday. Her 15.67-meter mark topped the previous record of 15.50 meters established by Ukrainian triple jumper Inessa Kravets in 1995 and was over a half meter longer than silver medalist Patricia Mamona of Portugal.
Team USA’s Raven Saunders, complete with Joker and The Hulk masks and hair color, nabbed a silver medal in women’s shotput Saturday in style. After twerking following her final toss and deeming herself a “flaming gay,” Saunders threw up the X on the medal podium, a symbol of protest that she said represented “the intersection of where all people who oppressed meet.”
Team USA’s Hannah Roberts secured another silver medal for Team LGBTQ on Saturday with a stellar performance in women’s BMX Freestyle. Her first run score of 96.10 was the first of the competition to break the 90-point mark and set her on course for the gold that was only derailed by Great Britian’s Charlotte Worthington hitting a 360 backflip and front flip.
And finally, French fencer Astrid Guyart took home a silver medal in women’s team foil Monday, just over a month after coming out publicly during Pride month. According to Outsports, Team LGBTQ now ranks ninth overall with 20 total medals, including six gold medals.
LGBTQ Olympics: Previously on Towleroad
Screenshot via Twitter