Canadian Soccer Player First Openly Transgender Athlete to Compete at 2021 Olympics

Written on 07/28/2021
Staff Columnist

A player on Canada's Women's National Soccer Team has become the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the 2021 Olympic summer games — People Magazine reported.

In September 2020, Quinn came out as transgender and uses the non-binary pronouns they/them.

In a social media post, Quinn reflected on the team's match against FC Tokyo, which resulted in a tie game. "First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don't know how to feel," Quinn wrote alongside a game day photo.

"I feel proud seeing 'Quinn' up on the lineup and on my accreditation," Quinn added about the Olympics respecting their name choice.

"I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world. I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets," they went on.

"Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams," Quinn said of the United States, where they play soccer on the OL Reign.

They added, "The fight isn't close to over… and I'll celebrate when we're all here."

In June, Quinn posted a picture where they are holding up their Canadian soccer jersey with their number printed in rainbow colours and on their arm was the trans flag.

"This team is hard to put into words! They have embraced change and turned into uncomfortable conversations, and I love them for it," the athlete wrote in the caption. "Taking home this armband because I never thought I'd see this day!!"

In an early July interview with Uninterrupted magazine, Quin said, "As a trans person playing in women's professional sports, my teammates are worried about how they're getting to their second jobs. They're not worrying about trans participation on their teams."

People Magazine said Outsports released a report that shows a record-breaking number of openly LGBTQ athletes competing at this year's Olympics. Initially, it was reported that 121 of the athletes were openly queer, and within a short period, it jumped to 163.

In the 2016 Rio Games tally, there were only 56 LGBTQ+ athletes, and in the London 2012 Olympics, only 23.

Included on the 2021 list is Australian weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Hubbard made headway this year when she became the first openly transgender athlete given the go-ahead to compete in the summer games on a team that matches her gender identity.

Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.

(Image Credit: The Globe and Mail)