The World is Ready for the Most Inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games in History

A look at 10 LGBTQ athletes we can expect to see at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and what is being done to make the games more inclusive.

Life + Leisure Sports Brian Webb

This article was published on June 29th, 2021

The 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games are just around the corner. There is an exciting field of LGBTQ+ athletes who will be competing on the world stage for the opportunity to take home a medal for their country. There is an amazing contingent of openly LGBTQIA+ Olympic hopefuls to watch in several different sport disciplines in these Olympic Games.

There are some great international athletes, including some from countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. These courageous competitors will be bringing their top performances to the world stage this summer! Here is a look at then of the notable, out and proud, athletes who are expected to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games:

1. Nikki Hiltz is the first openly transgender woman to qualify for a US Olympic team. She has won multiple medals at international competitions, including this year’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where she earned silver and bronze medals. Hiltz is one of five LGBTQIA+ athletes featured on Outsports’ top ten list of athletes who have made history and hope to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

2. Tiffany Abreu is a Brazilian volleyball player who is also transgender. She is awaiting confirmation for selection for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. This is a decision that the committee should make soon as the qualification rounds start in 2021.

3. Ness Murby is a parathlete from Canada. She is hopeful for a chance to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games. They came out as nonbinary in 2020. Their specialization is discus and javelin throw, and they competed in the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio. 

4. Valentina Petrillo is a trans-para-athlete who qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games in sprinting events. She is visually impaired and has said the shot at competing would be a dream come true. She also understands if others have questions about competing against her, and she is happy to talk about openly about it. 

5. Rebecca Quinn is an Olympic football player who came out as trans and gave classes on being a better ally. She is hopeful of taking a spot in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Her dreams may be squashed due to the International Olympics Committee announcing new rules for trans athletes. 

6. CeCé Telfer is a US track and field athlete hoping to become a contender at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. She has already made history by coming out as transgender and winning a spot at the summer games would solidify her place in history.

7. Chelsea Wolfe will likely be named for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. She is an American BMX rider. She is expected to be competing at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

8. Tom Daley is expected to be chosen to compete for the Great Britain diving team for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. On Instagram, he expressed disappointment but understanding for the postponing of the games in 2020.

9. Chris Mosier is an American transgender triathlete who advocates for trans rights. In 2020, Mosier competed in the US Olympic Team Trials for the 50k Racewalk event; however, he was unable to finish the race due to injury. He became the first known transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Team Trials in the gender with which they identify.

10. Robyn Lambird is an international medal holder from Great Britain. She is hoping to compete on behalf of Australia at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games in wheelchair basketball.

The 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games are disappointing for many in the LGBTQ community because LGBT rights are not as inclusive have been expected. In 2021, gay men and lesbians can compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games if they identify their sexual orientation publicly. Transgender people can also qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games if they have undergone hormone replacement therapy or sex reassignment surgery. This is a bit of an improvement from past Olympic and Paralympic events, but still doesn’t capture all LGBTQ+ individuals.

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