The 2020 Olympics have finally begun in Tokyo after many missteps and a year of delay, but a record is already broken before the games even begin. According to Outsports, there will be at least 163 LGBTQ+ athletes participating in the game, nearly triple the 56 athletes back in 2016.
About 34 of these athletes will be playing for Team USA, including five members from the women’s basketball team and four members from the women’s soccer team. This year’s Olympics will also be the first time transgender athletes will compete, including New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.
Quinn, an openly transgender soccer player will compete for the Canadian women’s soccer team. Even though she was disqualified a month ago, U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson came out in 2015 as bisexual.
Some other LGBTQ+ athletes that will compete this year include Rachele Bruni from Italy, Isadora Cerullo from Brazil, Shawn Barber from Canada, Jacky Woolley from Ireland, Tom Daley from the U.K., and U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
This year would also be the first time a Pride House, hospitality suites for LGBTQ athletes and visitors, has received official recognition from the International Olympic Committee, and it will remain a permanent community center in Tokyo after the Games.
Gon Matsunaka, the director of Pride House Tokyo said that the house “will be a landmark that could change the landscape for LGBTQ people in Japanese society.”