The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are an exciting time for everyone 一 especially for the LGBT community, which has over 160 athletes competing this year.
Since the Olympics were postponed in March 2020 because of the pandemic, it began July 23 with competitions continuing through Aug. 8.
The Washington Blade reported that 627 athletes were named to Team USA, and more than 30 of them are members of the LGBT community. In the other countries competing, at least 142 of them are LGBT as well.
In fact, Tom Daley, a British diver, said he is “incredibly proud” to be a gay man who won a gold medal during the Olympics, according to Outsports.
“When I was younger I thought I was never going to be anything or achieve anything because of who I was,” said Daley. “To be an Olympic champion now shows that you can achieve anything.”
Daley and Matty Lee won the gold medal July 26 in the men’s 10-meter synchronized diving at the Olympics. They were up against Chinese divers Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen and won by 1.23 points over the six dives. It was Daley’s first gold medal and has two Olympic bronzes, Outsports reported.
There is also the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics: Laurel Hubbard.
Hubbard is a weightlifter for Team New Zealand, and although her inclusion has sparked a heated discussion about gender, sexism, and sport, it might encourage other transgender athletes who are underrepresented in sport at all levels, CNN International reported.
Yulimar Rojas, a lesbian triple jumper, will compete and carry the flag for her country of Venezuela in the Parade of Nations, the Blade reported.
Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua, who is gay, however, was struggling with the funding needed to qualify to compete, according to the Blade. If he qualifies to compete, it would be his third Olympics.
To stay in shape in the meantime, he focuses on weight training, running, biking, and yoga.
“The pandemic changed a lot of things for all of us,” Fonua told the Blade. “This past year has been about survival, and I have done my best with what I have been given.”
With more than 160 LGBT athletes competing, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games became the most inclusive Olympic Games to ever hold.