Three Olympians will take center stage at the Outsports Pride Summit, being held at UCLA’s historic Pauley Pavilion on June 7. Greg Louganis, Randy Gardner and Nicole Branagh will give their insights as LGBTQ athletes whose connections to the Olympics collectively span over four decades.
- Nicole Branagh competed in the Summer Olympics in 2008 in beach volleyball, where she and partner Elaine Youngs finished in fifth place.
- Randy Gardner is a former world champion who was favored to win gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics with skating partner Tai Babilonia, before an injury forced Gardner to withdraw. They competed at the 1976 Olympics, also finishing fifth.
- Greg Louganis won five Olympic medals over 12 years, including four gold. He is considered one of the greatest American Olympians of all time.
Moderating the conversation will be Charley Walters, who has chronicled his visits to Olympics as a gay fan for years, and who runs the Gold Meets Golden program, which raises money for charity by bringing together athletes and entertainers.
Each of the panelists has deep roots to their story as an LGBTQ person in sports. Louganis and Gardner were competing a time when sex between two men was illegal in the vast majority of states. Gardner has some deep personal stories to tell. Louganis powerfully came out in the 1990s as gay and HIV-positive. Branagh has very rarely spoken publicly about her sexual orientation and says she is looking to help do more.
In addition, Outsports’ 20th Anniversary Celebration the night of June 7, as part of Outsports Pride, will feature an exhibit, produced by the office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, highlighting the profiles of numerous LGBTQ Olympians from the Los Angeles area.
The Olympics have been at the heart of what Outsports has done since nearly its inception. Outsports readers make Olympic-related content on the site some of the most popular we produce. Plus every two years we now get a snapshot of dozens of out LGBTQ athletes competing at the highest level. Highlighting Olympians at Outsports Pride is a no-brainer.
You can join us for this conversation and more by registering for Outsports Pride, of which this summit is a part. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the lead sponsor for the weekend. Other weekend partners include the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, GO! Athletes, Equality Coaching Alliance and HomeField Alliance. Inquiries about Outsports Pride can be directed to Cyd Zeigler at firstname.lastname@example.org.