The LGBTQ+ Participants of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
Friday, August 19, 2022
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At least 35 publicly out gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual and non-binary athletes will be in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, double the amount who competed in 2018, including the largest share of men. The athletes are competing in nine different sports from Feb. 4-20, including 12 in ice hockey and 10 in figure skating.

 

olympic winter

 

Of the skaters, eight are men, one is non-binary and one is pansexual. The pansexual athlete, Amber Glenn, is an alternate and is currently not slated to compete. All of the out ice hockey players are women.

 

From left Winter Olympians Melodie Daoust Sarka Pancochova Tim Leduc Bruce Mouat and Gus Kenworthy all identify as LGBTQ.jepg 1

From Left, Winter Olympians Melodie Daoust, Sarka Pancochova, Tim Leduc

Bruce Mouat and Gus Kenworthy all Identify as LGBTQ

 

We did not have an out male Winter Olympian until the 2018 Games, when there were four out of the 15 total out athletes. In Beijing, there will be at least 11 men, almost one-third of the total. At the Tokyo Summer Games last year, the ratio of out women to men was 9 to 1. Various countries have multiple out athletes we have been able to identify at these Games, including Canada (10), the United States (six), Great Britain (four), Sweden (three), France (two) and the Czech Republic (two).

 

 

This will be the second Winter Olympics after coming out for snowboarder Sarka Pancochova. She has been using her profile as an out Olympian to shine a light on the fight in her country — the Czech Republic — for marriage equality. “It’s always an honor to be able to represent my country at the Olympics, and also represent the LGBTQ community and push for gay marriage in Czech Republic,” she said. “It has been on my mind constantly!”

 

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Figure skater Lewis Gibson from Team Great Britain recognizes the power of being an out Olympian. “It’s honestly a privilege to feel part of a community, and one that is pushing boundaries like no other,” Gibson said. “Every four years the numbers skyrocket up and up, and it’s so great to see and so great to be a part of. The Olympics are a legacy and being part of this group of people is that as well.”

 

 

Brazil’s Nicole Silveira is only recently out, telling Outsports that it has been a weight lifted off of her shoulders. Now representing her country and the LGBTQ community on the world stage as an out athlete has new meaning to her.  “Knowing that I can step on the big stage, the Olympics, as a known LGBTQ member, and be able to bring out more visibility and help athletes be who they want to be, brings me a lot of joy,” Silveira said. “I hope I can be that person that helps lift that weight off someone else’s shoulder.”

 

 AndyBlaser

Andrew Baser - Skeleton USA 

 

For American skeleton athlete Andrew Blaser, inspiring others is a big reason he is out.  “I think that the opportunity to represent the community at these games is amazing,” Blaser told Outsports. “I hope that my participation will help someone else realize that they have the opportunity to compete, and the ability to achieve any and all of their goals regardless of sexual orientation.” To be included on the Outsports list of out LGBTQ Olympians, an athlete has to have come out publicly in the media, have to be clearly out on their public-facing social media, or have to have confirmed their identity directly with Outsports. For example, Italian pairs figure skater Filippo Ambrosini and Canadian ice hockey player Jill Saulnier confirmed to us that they identify as LGBTQ and are out.

 

 

If someone has not made a public declaration to the media that they are LGBTQ, they can still be included on this list if they are openly living their life as an out person on social media, particularly if they have made clear they are in a same-sex relationship. We also work with LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton, who runs the blog The Queerstory Files, to compile the most extensive list anywhere, and each athlete has a link below to some aspect of them being publicly out.

 

Beijing Winter Olympic Games Out LGBTQ Athletes:

 

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Megan Bankes (Canada)  Curling

 

Bruce Mouat (Great Britain) Curling 

 

Filippo Ambrosini (Italy)   Figure Skating

 

Kevin Aymoz (France) Figure Skating

 

 

Figure skating can be a lonely sport, and some athletes feel as though they have to struggle alone. That’s how Jason Brown felt when he missed his chance to go to the 2018 Olympic Games. After hitting “rock bottom,” Brown took a big step: He restructured his whole community to help him make it to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. In this episode of “The Mental Games,” we explore how an intentional, supportive community helps elite athletes — not to mention the rest of us — achieve the most ambitious goals.

 

Jason Brown (USA) Figure Skating

 

 Guillaume Cizeron

 

 

Born in France, Guillome Cizeron relocated to Canada in 2014 at age 20 to continue his skating training, though still competed under the French flag in skating events. In 2020, he came out on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia by sharing a photo with his boyfriend on Instagram. “I wanted to share this publicly because it was world day against homophobia and transphobia,” he told Têtu. “I told myself that by living in Montreal, one of the cities where we feel the most free as a person from the LGBT community, we tend to forget how this is not the case everywhere in Canada and in other countries, even in France. So exposing oneself serves the cause. Celebrate love.”

 

Guillaume Cizeron (France) Figure Skating with Partner Gabriella Papadakis

 

Lewis Gibson (Great Britain) Figure Skating

 

Amber Glenn (USA, reserve) Figure Skating

 

Timothy LeDuc (USA) Figure Skating

Paul Poirier (Canada) Figure Skating

 

Canadian Piper Gillis and Paul Poirier the brightest costumes in the rhythm dance.jepg

 

 

Olympic ice dancing is often the most fabulous of events, with blasting music, sassy moves and costumes that are ... well, extravagant.  Olympics ice rhythm dance the Canadian team of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier dressed in something best described as sherbet buried in an avalanche of sprinkles. Orange. Very, very orange.  In dancing to a seventh-place finish in the first day of competition Saturday, Gilles and Poirier wore spandex jumpsuits with colored feathers on the shoulders, or maybe they were whirligigs. The fronts were ablaze with Vs of rhinestones that dipped to freighting lows; the backs clung tight to every curve. The costumes demanded attention.   Which is why Gilles and Poirier loved them.  Their rhythm dance routine is based around two Elton John songs, “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” and “I’m Still Standing.” And the way they see it, if you’re going to go with Elton John at the Olympics, you’ve got to go all-in.

Simon Proulx Sénécal (Armenia) Figure Skating

 

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Eric Radford Showing his Olympic Tattoo

 

Eric Radford (Canada) Figure Skating

 

Brianne Jenner (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

Erin Ambrose (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

 Ebba Barglund

Ebba Berglund (Sweden) Ice Hockey

 

Alex Carpenter (USA) Ice Hockey

 

Emily Clark (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

Mélodie Daoust (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

 

 Anna Kjellbin Sweden Ice Hockey

Anna Kjellbin (Sweden) Ice Hockey

 

Aneta Lédlová (Czech Republic) Ice Hockey

 

Jamie Lee Rattray (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

Jill Saulnier (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

Ronja Savolainen (Finland) Ice Hockey

 

Micah Zandee-Hart (Canada) Ice Hockey

 

Andrew Blaser (USA) Skeleton

 

Kim Meylemans (Belgium) Skeleton

 

Nicole Silveira (Brazil) Skeleton

 

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria) Ski Jumping

 

Makayla Gerken Schofield (Great Britain) Skiing 

 

 

gus kenworthy body

Gus Kenworthy (Great Britain) Skiing

 

Sandra Naeslund (Sweden) Skiing

 

Belle Brockhoff (Australia) Snowboarding

Sarka Pancochova (Czech Republic) Snowboarding

 

Brittany Bowe (USA) Speedskating

Ireen Wüst (Netherlands) Speedskating

 

 

 

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There will also be a number of publicly out coaches at these Olympic Games. At least four have athletes competing in figure skating: Adam Rippon, Brian Orser, Jorik Hendrikx and Romain Haguenauer. This list was compiled by Outsports and LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton.

 

 

 This video features gay & nonbinary athletes at Beijing Winter Olympics 2022: Gus Kenworthy, Andrew Blaser, Bruce Mouat, Paul Poirier, Kevin Aymoz, Lewis Gibson, Guillaume Cizeron, Eric Radford married to Luis Fenero, Jason Brown, Timothy LeDuc, Filippo Ambrosini & Simon Sénécal.