There will likely be a record number of LGBTQ athletes when Tokyo hosts the 2020 olympics. It could also end up being the most political game in recent history.
The number of open LGBTQ athletes partcipating in the olympics has been steadily increasing over the years and the trend is expected to continue.According to OutSports, there could be over 100 LGBTQ athletes competing in 2020, up from 56 in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and 15 in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
During this upcoming Olympics in 2020, this may also be the first time we see a transgender athlete compete, with New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard the most likely to make that history. Brazilian volleyball player Tiffany Abreu is a longshot who could also appear despite not making the team’s most recent selections.
When Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, there will likely be a record number of out, LGBTQ athletes competing in the Games. Not only that, it could also prove to be the most political Olympics in recent history.
The number of open LGBTQ athletes appearing in the Olympics has increased steadily in recent years, and that trend is expected to continue. According to Outsports, there could be over 100 LGBTQ athletes competing in 2020, up from 56 in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and 15 in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The 2020 Games could also be the first time we see a transgender athlete compete, with New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard the most likely to make that history. Brazilian volleyball player Tiffany Abreu is a longshot who could also appear, in spite of not making the team’s most recent selection, which set the roster for a number of important international competitions, including an Olympic qualifying tournament.
Megan Rapinoe, the World Cup golden ball and golden boot winner, is one athlete who is almost certain to compete. She could play a key role in the Games being more inherently political due to her recent feud with Donald Trump, which began when she declared she would not visit the White House if invited to celebrate the World Cup victory.
In addition to Rapinoe, there are more U.S. athletes who are willing to speak out despite attempts at silencing them. Last month, fencer Race Imboden and hammer thrower Gwen Berry made political gestures during their medal ceremonies at the Pan Am Games.
“I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games,” said Imoden. “My pride, however, has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart. Racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.
“I chose to sacrifice my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change.”
Berry raised a fist towards the end of the U.S. national anthem in a move reminiscent of the protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics, when sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their glove-clad fists in the air as the song played.
“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” Berry told USA Today.
As you can see, all in all, this upcoming Olympics will be one for the ages.