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Tokyo 2020: Here’s how many LGBTQ athletes have competed at the Olympics throughout history

You might be surprised by the number of out queer sports people who've appeared at the Summer and Winter Games.

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Tom Daley is going for gold at this year’s Olympics (Attitude)

LGBTQ Olympic history tends to be dominated by a few familiar faces – from former decathlete Caitlyn Jenner, who won gold at the 1976 Games, to Ian Thorpe [below], the Australian swimmer with five medals to his name.

Not forgetting Team GB’s Tom Daley, of course!

But new data has revealed that at least 229 LGBTQ Olympians have competed since the Winter and Summer Games began in their modern incarnation in 1896.

What’s more, some 129 have won medals!

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A post shared by Ian Thorpe (@ian.thorpe)

According to the research by Online Gambling, LGBTQ athletes – some of whom were out at the time, some weren’t – have have won 93 gold medals, 75 silver medals and 61 bronze medals between them.

Meanwhile, 99 publicly LGBTQ competitors have taken part but not taken home a medal.

German runner Otto Peltzer, who appeared at the Amsterdam Olympics of 1928, is believed to be the first known community member to take part.

The research follows an OutSports investigation which has found at least 162 (and counting) publicly LGBTQ athletes will take place at this month’s Games in Tokyo.

The Olympics take place from Friday 23 July 2021 to Sunday 8 August 2021.

For more information about the data, visit

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