Editor’s note: Outsports’ policy is to refer to trans people by their chosen name. We use former names one time, in only a “coming out” article, if the person was previously a public figure, to give proper context for the reader.
Former Olympic gold medalist Sandra Forgues has come out publicly as transgender. The French slalom canoeist, formerly known as Wilfrid Forgues, was part of the gold-medal C-2 canoe at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. She also won a bronze medal in Barcelona.
She told L’Equipe that, while she struggled for years with her gender identity, she made the decision to transition about 18 months ago.
“I live a dream,” Forgues told L’Equipe. “Until then, I had a really successful social, family and professional life. I was engaged in a billion things. But my intimate life was in a prison. I always thought it would be one or the other.”
Forgues was a dominant athlete in men’s canoe slalom throughout the 1990s, winning world championships in 1991 and 1997, and medaling in 1993 and 1995.
Few Olympians have come out publicly as transgender. Decathlon gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner came out publicly several years ago.
There very well could be an out trans athlete in the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
You can find Sandra Forgues on Facebook.