Honorees 31-40 on the Outsports Power 100, the most influential LGBTQ people in sports. Pictured: Olympic medalist Adam Rippon, MMA fighter Liz Carmouche, WNBA player Layshia Clarendon. | Shelby Weldon / Getty Images

Outsports is highlighting our selections for the 100 most powerful and influential out LGBTQ people in sports in the United States, in the Outsports Power 100.

League executives. Team owners. Athletes. Coaches. College sports administrators. Members of the sports media.

The breadth, depth and diversity of the honorees are a profound statement.

Here are Outsports’ selections for Nos. 31-40:

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31) Liz Carmouche
MMA champion
Liz Carmouche is an MMA trailblazer. She knocked out two historic firsts in her 2013 UFC debut, becoming the UFC’s first out LGBTQ fighter ever and competing in the company’s first women’s fight. The former Marine currently reigns as the Bellator women’s Flyweight champion, continuing to don the trademark rainbow mouthpiece and remaining outspoken about homophobia within the sport. “I want to know that people I’m training with are gaining self-confidence and being empowered,” she told Outsports, “so they feel like they gain something beyond just technique. In an environment that’s judgmental, that can’t happen.” — Brian Bell

32) Elena Delle Donne
Athlete, Team USA & Washington Mystics
Elena Delle Donne has been one of the most successful shooters on the Mystics since being traded to D.C. in 2017. Among her countless on-court accolades is being the lone WNBA representative in the 50-40-90 club (50% field goal efficiency, 40% three-point field goal efficiency and 90% free-throw efficiency), of which only nine NBA players also claim membership. She first came out publicly in a 2016 Vogue profile before the Rio Olympics (at which she and Team USA won gold), revealing her engagement to Amanda Clifton. The two were married a year later. “I have to give so much credit to the people who are out way before the time that I’m in now, when it was so hard to do it and to have that strength and confidence,” she said. — Shelby Weldon

33) Layshia Clarendon
Athlete, Los Angeles Sparks
Layshia Clarendon made their return to the WNBA this season, finding a home with the Los Angeles Sparks in their 10th year in the league. They made history in 2020 coming out as the W’s first trans and nonbinary player, five years after their trailblazing Players’ Tribune essay on being both non-cisgender and a proud Christian. In a league full of unapologetically vocal players standing up for LGBTQ rights and other social issues, Clarendon has consistently been one of the most outspoken and never shies away from a leadership role on these fronts. Today, they are married to Jessica Dolan, and the pair are practicing gender expansive parenting with their child, Baby C. — Shelby Weldon

34) Abby Wambach
Former athlete, USWNT
As if one of the most decorated players on the most decorated team in women’s soccer needed more motivation, a retired Abby Wambach addressed her role in a commencement address for Barnard College’s Class of 2018. “Abby, you were never Little Red Riding Hood; you were always the wolf.” Since retiring from the U.S. Women’s National Team after a FIFA World Cup title in 2015 and two Olympic golds, Wambach has been a founding investor in Angel City FC of the NWSL and has sought to create change for female and LGBTQ athletes. — Karleigh Webb

35) Adam Rippon
Olympian, coach and former figure skater
Only the most influential sports figures can tongue-in-cheekily anoint themselves “America’s sweetheart” and have America respond, “Yeah, you are.” Such a national embrace happened to Adam Rippon after winning a bronze medal in Team Figure Skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Since then, he’s parlayed his fame into a career as a TV and social media personality, most notably winning Season 26 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Rippon has also repeatedly spoken out for his LGBTQ community, publicly criticizing former Vice President Mike Pence for his anti-LGBTQ track record as he led the 2018 U.S. Olympic delegation and taking on the IOC and 2022 host country China for human rights violations. — Ken Schultz

36) Gus Kenworthy
Olympian, skiing announcer
Olympic silver medalist and five-time X-Games medalist Gus Kenworthy retired from competition as one of the most celebrated out American athletes, having made a name for himself during competition and kissing his then-boyfriend on national TV. Since then, Kenworthy has dove into a media career that includes commentary as well as acting. Still the highest-profile athlete in his sport to come out publicly, he recently began calling skiing competitions in the media. — Cyd Zeigler

37) Steve Strimling
Big Ten official, NCAA officiating mentor
Few college football officials have more power and influence than Steve Strimling, who came out publicly in 2016 while a referee with the Pac-12. Since then he has refereed a Cotton Bowl and elevated to coordinator of the USFL officials, as well as working closely with the training and scheduling of officials in the Big Ten, Big Sky, WAC and other conferences. Strimling is regarded as one of the great minds in football officiating, with former heads of NFL officiating such as Dean Blandino and Mike Perreira relying on his rules and officiating expertise. He is also one of the most generous people in the officiating world. — Cyd Zeigler

38) Alisha Valavanis
CEO, Seattle Storm
Alisha Valavanis is the CEO and team president of the Seattle Storm, and is married to Kai Felton, a longtime women’s basketball coach at Berkeley. Valavanis places importance on the Storm’s role in directly addressing and advocating for social change through sport. “Our alignment in these values makes being my true and authentic self as a leader easy,” Valavanis said to the Chico Enterprise-Record. “It has been the unconditional love of my family […] that both inspire and encourage me to lead with my whole heart which must include fighting for those marginalized in our societies.” — Shelby Weldon

39) Christina Kahrl
Sports Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
In 2021, Christina Kahrl became sports editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, making her an out trans journalist with a high-profile role in the mainstream media. “I look the impact of integrating LGBTQ narratives into sports as my impact,” she said. Check out our feature story on Christina Kahrl. — Karleigh Webb

40) Jamila Wideman
SVP, Player Development, NBA
To say that Jamila Wideman is driven is an understatement. The daughter of a noted scholar and a lawyer who became a lawyer herself, Wideman became a decorated All-American at Stanford and played four years in the WNBA before getting her law degree and a career with the Legal Aid Society. In 2018 she returned to basketball as a senior vice president for player development for the NBA. She’s taken a lead role in a program assisting league players in continuing education, financial management and career transition. — Karleigh Webb

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