A record number of out athletes participated in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, marking a huge step forward for the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ visibility in the sports world is on the rise, due in large part due to the brave athletes who have spoken out about who they are, setting an example for LGBTQ youth and people around the globe. While many athletes continue to face discrimination in their sports, several have made the decision to live their truths and pave the way for others to live openly and authentically, both in their personal lives as well as on the field of competition.

As HRC commends these stellar athletes on their incredible athletic achievements over the last two weeks, there were also a few off-the-field stories that warmed our hearts.

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the 2016 Olympics:

Nike Ad Features Trans Athlete
Nike released and prominently featured a powerful new ad throughout the Olympics starring transgender duathlete Chris Mosier. A member of Team USA for the 2016 World Championships, Mosier became the first trans athlete to quality for a U.S. national team. Following a series of questions such as, “How did you know you’d be fast enough? and “How did you know the team would accept you?” the ad ends with two powerful words that embody Mosier and his accomplishments: Unlimited courage.

Chris Mosier; Transgender; Nike Ad

Put a Ring On It
Love was in the air throughout the Olympic Games in Rio.

After the Brazil women’s rugby team won its ninth-place match over Japan, Brazilian player Isadora Cerullo was in for quite the surprise. Marjorie Enya, Cerullo’s partner and a manager at Deodoro Stadium where Olympic rugby competition took place, grabbed a microphone and delivered an emotional speech before proposing to Cerullo on the field in front of a cheering crowd.

Brazil rugby; Proposal; Engagement; Olympics

A few days later…

British race walker Tom Bosworth finished sixth in the 20 kilometer walking event, though the highlight of his week was probably what took place after his race. On the popular Copacabana Beach in Rio, Bosworth got down on one knee and proposed to his boyfriend Harry Dineley.

 

 

 

I Dedicate This Victory to My Beloved
Italy’s Rachele Bruni captured second place in the women’s 10 kilometer swimming marathon earlier this week, making history for Italian athletes shortly thereafter. Following nearly two hours of open water swimming and with a silver medal around her neck, Bruni said, “I dedicate this victory to my family, my coach and my beloved, who have followed and supported me.” Bruni was referring to girlfriend Diletta Faina, who traveled to Rio to support her. According to Yahoo! Sports, Italian media reported that Bruni was the first Italian athlete to openly acknowledge her sexuality.

 

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