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First openly transgender Olympians are competing in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics Soccer
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 17:20:37-04

TOKYO (AP) — Canadian soccer player Quinn became the first openly transgender athlete to participate in the Olympics when they started on Wednesday night for Canada's 1-1 draw with Japan in Sapporo.

Quinn, who is nonbinary and uses they and them pronouns, came out as transgender last year.

“I feel proud seeing `Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation," Quinn said about their feelings on Instagram. "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.”

Quinn was also a member of the Canadian team that won bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, according to the Associated Press.

“Mostly, I feel aware of the realities,” they continued. “Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over ... and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

Quinn isn't the only transgender athlete participating in the Tokyo Olympics.

Laurel Hubbard, a transgender woman, is competing in weightlifting for New Zealand.

Chelsea Wolfe, a transgender cyclist, is a reserve on the U.S. women's BMX Freestyle team.

According to the AP, since 2004, the International Olympic Committee has allowed transgender athletes to participate in the Olympics.

But none had done so openly until this year.