Sunday, 20 April 2014

Medal Quest - Out of Proportion?

The third Asia-Pacific Outgames begins in 20 days time in Darwin, Australia. It has always baffled me why Australia is such a major players in international sport. The country is one of the least densely populated areas in the world, yet people can name at least 2 famous Australian sportspeople. You can’t say that about the other areas of equal size and population density (Siberia and the Canadian Arctic).

The Pacific region has also produced quite a few of the world’s top lgbt athletes, some of whom have competed in the Outgames and Gay Games, and a lot of them are Olympians. There is a higher proportion of out professional lgbt athletes per capita from Australia than there is in any European country. Also a high proportion of them are gold medallists or champions.

Here is a list of the lgbt professional athletes of the Asia-Pacific region. I won’t include continental USA, though will include Hawai’i and other American Pacific islands. I had planned to list all the medals and championships each athlete has won, but the accumulated list runs into the hundreds and I don’t have room for them. This is testimony to the sheer excellence there is in the Asia-Pacific region in lgbt sport. Some athletes listed below were not Asia-Pacific-born but have become nationals of the countries.

Rather disappointingly, I’m restricted to just listing the name, country and sport of each athlete.

Alyson Annan   -   field hockey
Mianne Bagger   -   golf
Jason Ball   -   Australian rules football
Hayley Bateup   -   ironwoman
Wade Bennett   -   water skiing, athletics
Raelene Boyle   -   athletics
Belle Brockhoff   -   snowboard
Natalie Cook   -   beach volleyball
Casey Dellacqua   -   tennis
Freda DuFaur   -   mountaineering
Michelle Ferris   -   cycling
Mathew Helm   -   diving
Gus Johnston   -   field hockey
Daniel Kowalski   -   swimming
Hana Mandlikova   -   tennis
Matthew Mitcham   -   diving
Michelle Reeves   -   athletics
Ian Roberts   -   rugby league
Craig Rogerson   -   diving
Rennae Stubbs   -   tennis
Lisa-Marie Vizaniari   -   discus
Ji Wallace   -   trampoline
Sarah Walsh   -   soccer
Peter Wherrett   -   motor racing

Simon Latimer   -   diving
Paul O’Brien   -   equestrianism
Blake Skjellerup   -   speed skating
Blyth Tait   -   equestrianism
Peter Tayler   -   equestrianism
Louisa Wall   -   rugby union

Natasha Kai   -   soccer
Greg Louganis   -   diving (Samoan father)
Jaiyah Saelua   -   soccer
Esera Tualo   -   American football

Amini Fonua   -   swimming

Hiromasa Ando   -   speedboat racing

Parinya Charoenphol   -   Thai boxing

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