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Top 15 most-read Outsports stories in 2021 feature Olympics, athletes coming out

LGBTQ athletes were more present in sports in 2021 than ever before, creating memories and sports headlines.

The Olympic Games-Tokyo 2020
Team USA women’s basketball featured at least five publicly out players as well as a coach, Cheryl Reeve, at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Looking back at 2021, the presence and accomplishments of LGBTQ athletes were a major part of sports headlines and news. People coming out in sports and athletes excelling on the field were part of every major sport in North America and dominated the Summer Olympic Games.

Outsports was there to cover all of it with the award-winning insights and journalism people have come to expect from us.

It was a banner year for Outsports, with readership reaching levels not seen in years. We’re thankful for all of our amazing contributors — Brian Bell, Alex Reimer, Ken Schultz, Karleigh Webb and Shelby Weldon — as well as all the athletes and other people in sports who shared their stories with us. In addition, the support of everyone at Vox Media has been empowering for all of us.

Here are Outsports’ 15 most-read stories of 2021:

1) At least 186 out LGBTQ athletes at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, by far a record

2) Male rowers now wear loose pants at medal ceremonies after 2012 bulge pics went viral

3) Raiders player Carl Nassib comes out as gay, first active player in NFL history

4) Despite acceptance Candace Parker is coming out just now, helping understand why some athletes stay in the closet

5) Organizers want Olympic athletes to not hook up. Good luck with that

6) Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma turned 400-meter ban into 200-meter medal in Tokyo

7) 4 myths and flat-out lies being told about trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox

8) A record 9 trans athletes are aiming for the Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games

9) The 10 fashion hits and 10 fashion misses of the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

10) Queer Wrestling Index features 200 LGBTQ pro wrestlers

11) Kim Mulkey brings her problematic history with LGBTQ athletes to LSU

12) Namibian Olympic sprinters blunted by World Athletics’ ‘Caster Semenya Rule’

13) This non-binary runner made history at the NYC Marathon

14) Mexico soccer faced the USA. Fans chanted anti-gay slurs. Again

15) Red Sox are using an iconic gay pop anthem as their rallying cry

Here’s to continuing the amazing success and visibility of LGBTQ people in sports in 2022!