U.S. Olympic athlete Evy Leibfarth poses for a photo at the Team USA Media Summit at Mariott Marquis. | Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Evy Leibfarth
Country: USA
Sport: Canoe slalom, kayak cross
Previous Olympic experience: Tokyo 2021
Social Media: Instagram

Who is Evy Leibfarth

From trying kayaking for the first time at age four through her World Cup debut at the age of just 15, Evy Leibfarth has been making a splash on the canoe slalom scene for some time. Now, going into her second Olympics at age 20, we’ll be cheering for her to secure a spot — and maybe more than one — on the podium for Team LGBTQ.

“Before I was old enough to make the U.S. team, my dad made a bet with me: If I placed first or second at Junior Team trials, I could go to Europe and compete in the Junior World Cup races. At age 12, I won the bet,” she’s said of her hard-won journey from canoeing wunderkind to Olympian.

As one of the almost 200 out athletes competing in the last Olympic Games, she has also shown herself to be an outspoken leader in raising the visibility of queer athletes in her sport, recognizing the importance of having the support of a community. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats – and canoes and kayaks.

“There were a couple of queer paddlers who really inspired me and showed [me] that [your sexuality] has nothing to do with your athletic performance, but it’s really great to be in a space where you feel accepted,” she said in Teen Vogue.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C7uVuHFu0Jf/

Evy Leibfarth at the Paris Summer Olympics

Earlier this spring, Evy made history by becoming the first U.S. woman to qualify for an Olympic Games in three different canoe and kayak events.

In Tokyo, she placed 12th in K1 and 18th in C1, and this time around will be looking to improve on her previous Olympic experience, and perhaps even bring some gold back home.

“I hope to win an Olympic medal one day, and I want to inspire the next generation of up-and-coming athletes along the way,” she said.