Tabea Schendekehl will make her Olympic debut in Paris, competing for Germany. | Tabea Schendekehl via Instagram

Tabea Schendekehl has anticipated this moment for a while.

After being poised to represent Germany at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the woman who grew up in Dortmund had to wait.

Now the out LGBTQ athlete is representing her home country at the Paris Summer Olympics. She is one of over a half-dozen out LGBTQ athletes representing Germany at these Olympics.

Schendekehl is used to success, and she hopes to bring that success — which she continued in the NCAA — to her German boat.

“Making history with the University of Washington rowing team twice by not only winning, but sweeping the NCAAs, is definitely one of my favorite accomplishments,” she told Outsports.

Yet success hasn’t always come easy.

“Being someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, it means a lot to me and I couldn’t have made it this far without an incredible support system,” she said.

Now, being an out pansexual athlete is simply a part of who she is.

“It’s funny, because I’ve been asked if I was queer by friends and strangers way before I found it out for myself. I’ve always felt very comfortable in the LGBTQ community and earlier last year I realized that I definitely am interested in dating people other than straight cis men. I am incredibly grateful to have (queer) friends who are supporting me on my LGBTQ journey.

“It feels amazing to know that there are lots of women in rowing who are queer! Being able to show up as your true self on a big stage is extremely powerful and inspiring to others. Queer people are everywhere!”

You can follow Tabea Schendekehl on Instagram.

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