Non-Binary Paralympian Makes History as Queer Athletes Thrive in Tokyo

Robyn Lambird of Australia became the first out non-binary person to win a Paralympic medal.
Instagram/Robyn Lambird

A track and field athlete became the first out non-binary person to receive a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, where LGBTQ athletes are off to the races with more than a dozen medals to this point.

So far, out queer athletes have nabbed a total of 14 medals in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo — including six gold, six silver, and two bronze medals, according to Outsports. Some of the medalists include track and field runner Robyn Lambird of Australia, who has cerebral palsy and received a bronze medal in track and field; equestrian Lee Pearson of Great Britain, who has a disability related to his joints and secured multiple gold medals, including his 12th Paralympic gold medal; and cyclist Crystal Lane-Wright of Great Britain, who has an underdeveloped arm and snagged two silver medals. Hailey Danz, an American paratriathlete, won a second straight silver medal

Following Lambird’s historic accomplishment, they took to social media to celebrate their bronze medal.

“Words cannot describe my emotions, Bronze on my Paralympic debut,” Lambird wrote in an Instagram post. “I can’t thank all of you enough for being apart of this wild ride. I couldn’t have done any of this without all of the support I have received over the last few years and you all mean the world to me. This isn’t over though, and the can’t bloody wait to see what’s next!”

The Paralympics saw a record-high enrollment of LGBTQ athletes, with at least 31 out queer players in this year’s competition. The total number of out LGBTQ sports players in the 2020 games is more than double the number of LGBTQ players at the 2017 Rio Summer Paralympics in Brazil.

Additional out LGBTQ medalists include swimmer Mari Gesteira of Brazil, who won a bronze medal, cyclist Kate O’Brien of Canada, and rower Moran Samuel of Israel, who won silver medals.

The Paralympic Games will run until September 5.

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