More GLBT Athletes Than Ever at Olympics
We are just hours away from the official opening of the The London 2012 Olympic Games and already this years competition is breaking records. There are more openly gay or lesbian competitors taking part than ever before.
Yes, the record has broken, this year there will be at least fourteen openly gay and lesbian athletes participating during the games in the UK’s majestic capital. With a number coming from the US.
The information comes from OutSports.com, who published the list last week and whilst it is welcome, simple statistics would suggest that there are many many more gay or lesbian competitors taking part, yet for whatever reason are not publicly ‘out’ about their sexuality.
The actual number of gay and lesbian competitors is unknown, however even if it was just one per cent of the total athletic contingent of 12,602, we’d be talking of a number around 126, rather than the fourteen currently accounted for.
Some of the courageous athletes known to be openly gay or lesbian include:
Matthew Mitcham (Australia, diving);
Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian);
Lisa Raymond (U.S., doubles tennis);
Judith Arndt(Germany, cycling);
Seimone Augustus (U.S., basketball);
Imke Duplitzer (Germany, fencing);
Megan Rapinoe (U.S. soccer);
Marilyn Agliotti (Netherlands, field hockey);
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey);
Natalie Cook (Australia, beach volleyball);
Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball);
Jessica Landström (Sweden, soccer);
Carole Péon (France, triathlon):
Jessica Harrison (France, triathlon);
There is still a perceived or actual fear of hostility and / or rejection by many sportsmen and women which may indicate the relatively low number of out athletes. Whilst most sporting bodies purport to be inclusive and non discriminatory in their selection process many insiders suggest an athlete typically stands a better chance of making a national team if they remain in the closet.