As we close out the Winter Olympics, it’s hard not to look ahead to the next Olympic Games and wonder how many LGBTQ athletes will show up there.
There’s a great chance that the 2020 Summer Olympics could have over 100 out LGBTQ athletes. Seems unlikely? Not at all.
Each of the last two Olympic Games have more than doubled the number of out athletes from the previous iteration.
The 2014 Winter Olympics had seven out athletes; These Winter Games in Pyeongchang had 15.
The 2012 Summer Olympics had 23 out athletes; The Rio Summer Games four years later had 56.
That Summer-to-Summer increase was 143%. To get to 100 out athletes in Tokyo in two years, we’d have to see an increase of 79%. Even the Winter-to-Winter increase was 114%.
That number of 100 athletes would have represented just 0.89% of the participants in the Rio Olympics. It’s very realistic.
With acceptance of LGBTQ people increasing rapidly in Europe, North and South America and other parts of the world, we expect to see a lot more publicly out athletes at the Tokyo Games.
And what a powerful statement it would be to have the number of out Olympians at a single Summer Games hit triple digits.