Out LGBTQ Paralympians Take Home Dozens of Medals

More than half of LGBTQ athletes won medals at the 2020 Paralympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.
REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

LGBTQ athletes scored more than two dozen medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

As the two-week-long competition came to a close on September 5, Outsports reported that LGBTQ paralympians grabbed a whopping 25 medals. Approximately 53 percent, or 19 out of 36 LGBTQ players, nabbed either a gold, silver, or bronze medal during the competition, including equestrian Lee Pearson of Great Britain, who won three gold medals; cyclist Crystal Lane-Wright of Great Britain, who won three silver medals; cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy of Ireland, who won two golds and a silver medal; and Great Britain’s Emma Wiggs, who won a gold and silver medal in canoeing.

LGBTQ athletes hit historic milestones along the way. Robyn Lambird, a track and field athlete from Australia, became the first out non-binary person to receive a medal at the competition, while Maz Strong, a shot putter of Australia, followed behind as the second out non-binary athlete to achieve the feat.

Other winners included volleyball player Monique Matthews of the United States, who won a gold medal; Bro Kramer of the Netherlands, who won a gold medal in wheelchair basketball; and Asya Miller, who took home her fourth medal for goalball.

Outsports reports that out of more than 4,400 athletes at this year’s competition, at least 31 are out. The total number of out queer sports players in this year’s competition is more than twice that of LGBTQ players at the 2017 Rio Summer Paralympics in Brazil. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which came to a close weeks before the paralympics got underway, saw more out LGBTQ athletes than ever, with nearly 200 out LGBTQ members bringing home a total of 32 medals — including 11 gold medals.

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