This week read about swimmer Markus Thormeyer setting a national record for Canada, and activists urging Japan to fight discrimination using the Olympics.
Canada Sets National Record Anchored By Gay Swimmer
At the Tokyo Olympics, Markus Thormeyer swam his personal best for Canada as the anchor leg in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay, and he came close to winning a medal.
According to OutSports, Thormeyer, who came out as gay in 2020, finished fourth for Canada and set a personal best in the 100 meters (48.17), but was passed by Australian Kyle Chalmers for the bronze medal near the end. Regardless, the men's 4x100 relay set a new Canadian record, which they should be pleased with. Not bad for a team that was seeded 16th entering the tournament.
Without Chalmers’ effort, Canada and Thormeyer would have had the bronze.
Thormeyer will compete in one more event on Wednesday, the 200-meter backstroke (Tuesday night in the U.S.). However, as one of the seven out LGBT swimmers in Tokyo, he has already made his mark.
Activists Urge Japan To Use Olympics To Fight Discrimination
Photo via PxHere.
Activists urge that Japan should use the Olympics as an opportunity to commit to combating discrimination in sports based on gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as to avoid physical abuse of young athletes.
According to Reuters, activists voiced their concerns just days before the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics.
"LGBT athletes especially face abuse and stigma and trauma from their experiences in sports," Minky Worden, the group's director of global initiatives (sport).
Despite the fact that Japanese law is rather liberal by Asian standards, the LGBT population has remained mainly invisible due to social views and stigma.
Human Rights Watch also urged a promise from Japan to stop using physical abuse as a coaching approach in schools and youth sports, as well as an end to teacher and coach impunity.