The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has a record number of publicly out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes.
Outsports and Olympic and LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton have identified at least 55 out athletes who are competing, as well as three coaches. There are 44 lesbian or bi women, 11 gay men and no out transgender Olympians. Several out athletes have also qualified for the Paralympics.
There are a record 11 publicly out male athletes, though none are from the U.S. There is also one married couple, Helen Richardson-Walsh and Kate Richardson-Walsh, British field hockey players. There are no openly transgender athletes competing in Rio.
We expect the list to grow, as more athletes are revealed to be out (our original list on July 11 had 27 names). This often occurs on team sports in Europe or in lesser-know sports where athletes are out but haven't gotten much publicity. If you know of an out LGBTI athlete not on the list, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), direct message on Twitter (@outsports) or in the comments section of this story.
The 2012 Summer Games in London featured 23 out LGBT athletes. Others have come out publicly since they competed in London.
Here are the out LGBT athletes in Rio.
# after a name indicates an athlete added after our original list on July 11.
Nicola Adams (Great Britain, boxing)
Seimone Augustus (USA, basketball)
Tom Bosworth (Great Britain, race walk)
Rachele Bruni (Italy, swimming)
Anne Buijs # (Netherlands, volleyball)
Tameka Butt # (Australia, soccer)
Isadora Cerullo # (Brazil, rugby)
Tom Daley (Great Britain, diving)
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)
Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)
Elena Delle Donne # (USA, basketball)
Katie Duncan (New Zealand, soccer)
Nilla Fisher (Sweden, soccer)
Amini Fonua # (Tonga, swimming)
Larissa França (Brazil, beach volleyball)
Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)
Kelly Griffin # (USA, rugby)
Brittney Griner (USA, basketball)
Carl Hester (Great Britain, equestrian)
Michelle Heyman (Australia, soccer)
Mélanie Henique # (France, swimming)
Jen Kish # (Canada, rugby)
Valentina Kogan # (Argentina, handball)
Stephanie Labbe # (Canada, soccer)
Alexandra Lacrabère # (France, handball)
Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)
Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland, swimming)
Robbie Manson (New Zealand, rowing)
Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands, equestrian)
Ian Matos (Brazil, diving)
Angel McCoughtry (USA, basketball)
Eefje Muskens # (Netherlands, badminton)
Nadine Müller # (Germany, discus)
Marie-Eve Nault (Canada, soccer)
Ashley Nee # (USA, kayak whitewater slalom)
Meghan O'Leary # (USA, rowing)
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)
Fiona Pennie # (Britain, canoe)
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)
Carolina Seger # (Sweden, soccer)
Caster Semenya (South Africa, track and field)
Rafaela Silva # (Brazil, judo)
Martina Strutz # (Germany, pole vault)
Susannah Townsend # (Great Britian, field hockey)
Sunette Stella Viljoen # (South Africa, javelin)
Julia Vasconcelos # (Brazil, taekowndo). Julia confirmed to Claudia Custodio (@Cau__ on Twitter) with ESPN Brazil that she is a lesbian.
Marleen van Iersel # (Netherlands, beach volleyball)
Linda Vilumsen # (New Zealand, cycling)
Jeffrey Wammes # (Netherlands, gymnastics)
Spencer Wilton # (Great Britain, equestrian)
Kirsty Yallop # (New Zealand, soccer)
**Victor Guttiérez, a Spanish water polo player was originally on the list, but he announced July 12 that he is not going to Rio.
***This list had been one larger, but one athlete contacted us to say she was not publicly out, so we removed her name.
**** We had originally listed Dutee Chand (India, track & field) and Caster Semenya (South Africa, track & field) as intersex athletes competing. However, we have removed them as intersex athletes after consulting with an expert on intersex athletes, who told us: "Neither of them has publicly confirmed anything about their biology or that they are intersex. For that reason I have not labeled them as such in my writings. Intersex women have hyperandrogenism but not all women with hyperandrogenism have an intersex trait."
Semenya is married to a woman, Violet Raseboya, so she is added an an LGB athlete.
At least three publicly out head coaches will also be in Rio. Alyson Annan coaches the Dutch women's field hockey team, Jill Ellis is the head coach of the United States women's soccer team and Pia Sundhage is head coach of Sweden's women's soccer team.
Gold medal Olympic diver Greg Louganis will travel with the United States diving team as an official athlete mentor, the same role he held in 2012. Equestrian Robert Dover, who competed in six Olympics as an athlete, is a coach for the U.S. dressage team.
Here is a fascinating note from historian Scupham-Bilton:
"George Morris is trainer to the Brazilian Olympic equestrian team (his partner is Brazilian). They call him the 'Godfather of American Equestrianism.' He came out officially earlier this year in his autobiography at the age of 78, even though he states he was never 'in.' His Olympic involvement goes way back to 1956. He won a silver medal in Rome 1960. He was Chef d’Equipe for many years, and he’s probably the oldest LGBT person involved in the sporting events."
A number of other out athletes also competed at Olympic trials and came close to earning a spot in Rio:
- Tina Hillman finished ninth in the Team USA shot put Olympic trial.
- Matt Llano finished sixth in the Team USA marathon Olympic trial.
- Javier Ruisanchez competed in the Puerto Rico swimming Olympic trial.
- Matt Lister finished third in the canoe slalom trials with his doubles partner at Team Great Britain selection trials. He's acted as LGBT Ambassador for the British Athletics Commission since May 2015 working with athletes preparing for Rio.
- Carly Muscaro finished 14th in the women's 400 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Trials.
- Marieke van der Wal made the reserve/alternate list for the Dutch women's handball team.