Rio 2016 has broken the record for the amount of out LGBT members competing for medals, with an astounding 42 athletes representing.
While the word ‘astounding’ may seem like a stretch this has grown from 23 at the 2012 London Olympics and just 12 members in Beijing 2008.
These LGBT athletes come from 13 countries, providing a much needed representation in sports, each one of them marking a huge step forward in society.
Great Britain: Race walk
At 26-years-old ‘Bozzy’ holds three British Records, and is currently ranked 1st overall in the UK for 20km. He came 6th during the Rio Olympics, but bested his own personal record at 20km in 1:20:13. Bosworth came out as gay on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show on 13 October 2015 to answer fans question and become more open with himself. He proposed to his now-fiancé, Harry Dineley after four and a half years on Copacabana Beach during the Rio Olympics.
Great Britain: Diving
Do we really need to profile Tom Daley? His stunning good looks, sweet personality, and frankness about his sexuality transformed him from nameless hot diver to the host of his own diving show, half of an international power couple and a celebrity in his own right. He won bronze again this year!
Known (ironically enough) for his impressive breaststroke, 26-year-old Fonua became the first Tongan swimmer to win a gold medal in international competition. Having been out of the closet for a decade he is a fierce LGBT advocate, and even penned a heartfelt essay following that messy Daily Grind article.
Apparently gay equestrians are the thing these days, with a whopping four on our list! 46-year-old Gal began his equestrian career as a jumper at age 14, beginning with ponies and graduating to larger horses at age 20. Throughout his career in dressage he has a variety of medals from Gold, through Silver to Bronze, which he also won during the 2012 Olympics. Gal is in a long-term relationship with teammate and addition to this list Hans Peter Minderhoud.
Great Britain: Equestrian
Competitively ranked number 12 in the world, 49-year-old Hester won Silver this year after baggin a Gold in the 2012 games! The out and proud rider was previously in a relationship with international dressage rider and addition to the list, Spencer Wilton. Awkward!
27-year-old Liukkonen stands an impressive 6″10! With two Bronze European medals under his belt he is hoping for an Olympic win. He previously competed in the 50m freestyle event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is theFinnish record holder over that distance with a time of 21.93 sec. On 2 February 2014 Liukkonen came out as gay in a Yle interview, soon becoming one of the first openly gay top-level athletes in Finland.
New Zealand: Rowing
This 27-year-old won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. He came out in 2012 with a heartfelt essay, detailing his struggles with himself centering on his sexuality. He got his happy ending stating: “It’s how hard you’re prepared to work for something and your talent that determines what you can achieve, not your sexuality.”
In 2014 Matos came out publicly after feeling a strain from advisors to keep his sexuality schtum, hide boyfriends and avoid gay clubs. You may have recognised him from those hilarious diver snaps, but other than that we don’t know much about this newcomer.
Hans Peter Minderhoud
One half of the Olympics power-couple with teammate Edward Gal, Minderhoud has a whole host of championships under his belt but most noticeably his 2008 Beijing silver medal.
Attractive Wammes has been a competitive force since 2005, noting his best events as floor exercise and vault. The brother of former gymnast Gabriella Wammes, he holds many bronze and silver medals, but is waiting on his gold!
Great Britain: Equestrian
43-year-old Wilton, together with the British dressage team, won silver medal at this years 2016 Summer Olympics. One of those team mates is his ex Carl Hester! Fun fact: in 2009 the media speculated he could have been a factor in the breakdown of the marriage between Katie Price and Peter Andre after he was seen with the former glamour model, who is known for her love of horse-riding, until it was revealed Wilton was gay!
Alongside our gay men compete 41 gay women!
- Nicola Adams (Great Britain, boxing)
- Seimone Augustus (USA, basketball)
- Rachele Bruni (Italy, swimming)
- Anne Buijs (Netherlands, volleyball)
- Isadora Cerullo (Brazil, rugby)
- Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)
- Elena Delle Donne (USA, basketball)
- Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)
- Katie Duncan (New Zealand, soccer)
- Nilla Fischer (Sweden, soccer)
- Larissa França (Brazil, beach volleyball)
- Kelly Griffin (USA, rugby)
- Brittney Griner (USA, basketball)
- Mélanie Henique (France, swimming)
- Michelle Heyman (Australia, soccer)
- Jen Kish (Canada, rugby)
- Valentina Kogan (Argentina, handball)
- Stephanie Labbe (Canada, soccer)
- Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball)
- Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)
- Angel McCoughtry (USA, basketball)
- Nadine Müller (Germany, discus)
- Eefje Muskens (Netherlands, badminton)
- Marie-Eve Nault (Canada, soccer)
- Ashley Nee (USA, kayak whitewater slalom)
- Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)
- Fiona Pennie (Great Britain, canoeing)
- Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)
- Jillion Potter (USA, rugby)
- Megan Rapinoe (USA, soccer)
- Helen Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
- Kate Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
- Tessie Savelkouls (Netherlands, judo)
- Caroline Seger (Sweden, soccer)
- Rafaela Silva (Brazil, judo)
- Martina Strutz (Germany, pole vault)
- Susannah Townsend (Great Britian, field hockey)
- Marleen van Iersel (Netherlands, beach volleyball)
- Julia Vasconcelos (Brazil, taekowndo)
- Sunette Viljoen (South Africa, javelin)
- Linda Villumsen (New Zealand, Cycling Road)