The Titan Games again featured an out LGBTQ competitor on NBC this week, this time openly gay CrossFit athlete Robbie Rodriguez.
Rodriguez talked during the episode about being gay, being out, being a nurse testing people in Florida for COVID-19, and the particular role his mom — whose partner is another woman — played in his journey to self-acceptance.
“It was more important to share my story overall as a whole,” Rodriguez told Outsports on a short break from his shift at the hospital. “I was able to show my family was accepting, and sports are a big part of me. So I think it was getting my entire story out there. Not just, ‘Hey I’m gay,’ it was more, ‘Hey I’m Robbie and this is my life.’”
The competition — which featured an incredible tug-of-war-style push-and-pull of a sliding wall called “Lunar Impact” — was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States. Since then, Rodriguez said he’s seen the ebbs and flows of the disease. Right now, he said, he is experiencing a very high number of people wanting to be tested, more than before.
Rodriguez grew up in Arizona, where he played soccer and was a track and field sprinter in high school. He went to Nova Southeastern Univ. in Ft. Lauderdale and decided to stay in South Florida post-graduation. He’s been with his partner, Renato Brito, for about seven years.
Rodriguez, as you may have guessed, also loves working out and the gym. It hasn’t been easy getting in his workouts during the pandemic, though he’s managed. The nickname used for him on the show — Rhino Robbie — came from his CrossFit group.
“When I first started CrossFit the group I was training with gave out names,” he remembered. “Because I was the bigger guy of the group they called me “Rhino Robbie.”