World Sports Champions Who Identify as LGBTQ

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To achieve the status of world champion in a sport is to achieve the pinnacle of success. This list of out LGBTQ individuals have achieved that level and recognition. The diversity of sports and countries represented reveals that competitive superiority in athletics is not dependent on sexual orientation.

It is notable that world champions broadly exists across the LGBTQ spectrum. While many of these individuals did not reveal their sexual orientation during competition, their presence creates a cadre of role models and mentors to others who either have come out or are considering the process of doing so. Many of the individuals who came out prior to winning their world championship status have stated that coming out mentally freed them to better compete by removing the pressure of hiding that aspect of themselves. Those who came out subsequent to their honour discuss the hyper-aggressive culture of bias and homophobia that pressured them to stay in the closet, as well as the financial risk of being publicly out (through loss of sponsorship, for example).

As world champions, these individuals have become recognized individuals nationally and often internationally. They have received many additional honours and awards as a result. Many of them broke down regional barriers and stereotypes, both when they competed and when they were declared victors.

Given all of this, why can there not be a more concerted effort by the group themselves to join together to take a stand on homophobia in sports around the world?

Note that this list of individuals does not include Olympic gold medal athletes, but rather focuses on those who have competed in organized World Championship competitions. We have identified individuals from Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Scotland, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Puerto Rico, and Belgium. Simply click on their names to access more information on their fascinating biographies.

Arm Wrestling

Badminton

Basketball

Bowling

Boxing

Canoe

Cricket

Cycling

Diving

Equestrian

Field Hockey

Football/Soccer

Golf

Gymnastics

Handball

Ice Hockey

Ice Skating

Jiu-Jitsu

Judo

Rock Climbing

Rowing

Rugby

Skiing

Speed Skating

Squash

Surfing

Swimming

Table Tennis

Tennis

Track & Field

Volleyball

Weightlifting

See Also


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