In a first, a wave of openly transgender athletes at the Tokyo Olympics
- Quinn had also competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics where they won a bronze medal
- Laurel Hubbard, a transgender woman, is competing in weightlifting for New Zealand
- Transgender athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games since 2004
Quin, a midfielder in the Canadian soccer team, created history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in Olympics when they started on Wednesday in Canada’s 1-1 draw with Japan. Though it has been years since the trans athletes were first allowed in Olympics, this is the first time anyone is openly doing so.
Quinn, who uses they/them pronouns, took to social media to share their feelings.
“I feel proud seeing `Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of this world. I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature, Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets,” they wrote on Instagram.
Quinn had also competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics where they, along with the Canadian team, won a bronze medal. They came out as transgender last year.
But Quinn is not the only one. Laurel Hubbard, a transgender woman, is competing in weightlifting for New Zealand. Chelsea Wolfe, a transgender cyclist, is a reserve on the US women’s BMX Freestyle team.
Several others had a chance to compete but they could not for various reasons. Nikki Hiltz did not qualify in the women’s 1,500 meters at the US track and field trials, while CeCe Telfer was declared ineligible in her bid to run in the 400-meter hurdles. Volleyball player Tiffany Abreu did not make Brazil’s final Olympic roster.
Transgender athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games since 2004.
According to the current rules, transgender athletes must demonstrate lower testosterone levels for 12 months before competing, and athletes can only qualify four years after transitioning, at the earliest.
This participation of transgender athletes at the Olympics comes amid a wave of anti-transgender legislation across the United States.
Proposed laws banning or restricting transgender athletes from participating in youth, high school and even college sports have been introduced in 37 states. At least seven states have enacted such laws. The federal government has challenged the laws of some states but it is still a long fight.