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This is how 16 out Olympic hopefuls reacted to the postponement of the Summer Games

The next Summer Olympics will have a record number of out LGBTQ athletes. That’s simply been delayed.

Swimming - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Markus Thormeyer wants nothing more than to represent Canada in the Olympics. But, he says, that must wait.
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast: Out swimmer Michael Gunning talks about the postponement of the Summer Games and why it’s important to him to represent Jamaica.

This year’s Summer Olympics were supposed to bring us the most publicly out LGBTQ athletes in the history of the Olympics.

That dream isn’t canceled, it’s just postponed, as the IOC announced the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will now take place in 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

We checked in with the reactions of out LGBTQ Olympic hopefuls to see what they were feeling. Overwhelmingly they felt this was the right response...

Great Britain’s racewalker Tom Bosworth, who was all but guaranteed a spot in the Olympics, had mentioned retirement if the Games were canceled. Because they are simply postponed a year, he posted a statement on Facebook that he’s going to make a go of it in 2021:

“I know I can get myself back to the shape I am in now, to be ready to race at the Tokyo Olympic Games next summer.”

RETIREMENT STATEMENT: I’ll be honest, I’m totally heartbroken due to the time, commitment and sacrifice I’ve given to...

Posted by Tom Bosworth GB Race Walker on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

American 1,500-meter runner Nikki Hiltz, and her girlfriend, Therese Haiss, are both hopeful for their first Olympics, now in 2021. Hiltz had previously mentioned to me on my Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast that more time could benefit Haiss’ chances of a spot on Team USA for the Games.

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2021’s our year! #Tokyo2021

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As we posted earlier this week, diver Tom Daley showed everyone some skin to remember him by:

American rower Meghan O’Leary expressed frustration and “hurt.” but said it’s the right decision:

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2020, you crazy. - I’ve had a lot of people text, email and message me about the news today regarding the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, scheduled for this summer. Thank you for your concern, support and love and forgive me for taking some time to not immediately react or respond. I feel so lucky to have people I haven’t heard from in years thinking of me and taking a moment to reach out. I promise I’ll get back to you soon. Like the rest of the world, I’m frustrated and hurt, but focusing on what I can control, how I can help and what I can do to make a positive impact on those around me in this unprecedented time. The delay is absolutely the right decision and only adds to the heartbreak I feel for so many people whose lives have been upended by this crisis in far more dramatic ways. I don’t say this to dismiss the importance or gravity of what so many athletes, myself included, are feeling right now. This sucks. Plain and simple. But if there’s one thing that sport does for us all—it shows us what can be achieved when working together toward a common goal, the value in never giving up, and the power of remaining optimistic when you’re down by a length coming into the last 500 meters of a race. You can win. We can win. But only when we all pull together (and when we all stay home). ❤️ . . #olympics #tokyo #athletes #stayhome #covid_19 #rowing #remo #aviron #weareinthistogether #hope #optimism #keepgoing

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British equestrian rider Carl Hester was hoping for this to be his sixth Olympic Games. Now his goal will have to wait another year:

Michael Gunning, a swimmer for Jamaica, wanted to make sure we’re all staying mentally and physically healthy.

American runner Erica Bougard is crushed, but also motivated to aim for 2021.

Kiwi soccer player Hanna Wilkinson says her eyes are now on Tokyo 2021:

Groundbreaking Irish taekwondo competitor Jack Woolley is staying focused:

American mountain biker Lea Davison agrees with the IOC decision and says saving lives is more important than sport:

Swedish soccer player Magdalena Eriksson last week expressed an interest in postponing major sporting events:

British field hockey player and gold medalist Susannah Townsend said it’s the right thing to do:

Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer previously said he agrees with Team Canada’s choice to abandon the 2020 Summer Games:

WNBA star Sue Bird says she still plans to compete for Team USA in the 2021 Olympics, even though she plans to turn 40 in October. From the Seattle Times:

Ali Krieger is telling everyone to stay home in the midst of her own quarantine with wife Ashlyn Harris.

Dutee Chand is showing off her car. And if you’ll take a look at the license plate, how many people have THAT?

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Me with my car

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We will continue to follow the LGBTQ athletes who will be in the Olympics, now in 2021.

And be sure to check out my LGBTQ Olympics podcast, Five Rings To Rule Them All.