As we strap ourselves in for nineteen days of non-stop sport tonight (perhaps with an Olympic Pride party and quiz, perhaps?) I feel a sense of achievement.
At the beginning of this year
my list of lgbt Olympians numbered 216 plus 9 Paralympians. Over the months that
number has risen steadily and I had a dream target of reaching 250 Olympians
and Paralympians before the Rio games started today.
The 14 publicly out lgbt Olympians
making their debut in Rio helped to add to the numbers. All 44 out athletes are
listed on the Outsports website here. It is more than probable that the number will rise before the Paralympics finish in September.
One weird consequence of
doing the research for my full list is that in the past month more names have
been popping up with very little research. It’s as if the internet itself is
deliberately directing those names to my laptop for me to find! Silly, I know,
but I can’t understand why, after several years of discovering an average of
only 2 or 3 names each month there suddenly appears 12 in July alone.
Before I drive myself mad
trying to work out what’s been happening I’ll rejoice in the fact that after
all the hard work I’ve put in since I first began to list lgbt Olympians way
back in 2011 I can now say that there have been over 250 lgbt Olympians
since the modern games began, and 11 Paralympians. My dream target of the
combined number of 250 passed on July 8th. The list stands today at
257 Olympians, 11 Paralympians, and 10 Olympic alternate/reserve athletes.
There are several additions to make. In the past week it has been announced that Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua and GB Paralympian Claire Harvey are returning to compete in Rio 2016. One new name to add is American basketball player Elena Delle Donne who came out publicly two days ago. There's one slight mistake - Edinanci da Silva gets two mentions!
So, without further ado,
here is my official list of out Olympians. A brand new list with all the Rio medals will be made available on New Year's Eve.
LGBT Olympians 2016