LGBTQ Visibility Wins Gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics

by HRC Staff

HRC has been so proud to cheer on the incredible openly LGBTQ athletes competing in Pyeongchang at the Winter Olympics.

Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall

HRC has been so proud to cheer on the incredible openly LGBTQ athletes competing in Pyeongchang at the Winter Olympics. More than 10 LGBTQ athletes from around the globe came to Pyeongchang to compete, the most ever to participate in the Winter Games.

Unfortunately, while there are many talented and successful transgender athletes around the globe, there were no openly transgender athletes competing in the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The same was true at the 2016 Rio Games.

From openly gay U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon’s viral social media updates to Netherlands bisexual speed skater Ireen Wüst becoming the most decorated out LGBTQ Olympian of all time, here are ten of HRC’s favorite Olympic moments:

1. Before the competions had even started, LGBTQ athletes were making headlines. Openly gay U.S. Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon were critical of anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence’s role in the Opening Ceremony. 

2. Team Canada illustrated its commitment to LGBTQ-inclusion, hosting the Pride House for the Winter Olympics.

3. Gus Kenworthy became the first person to wave a pride flag in a national commercial, featured in P&G’s “Shoulders of Greatness” campaign. 

4. Openly bisexual Netherlands speed skater Ireen Wüst became not only the first out athlete to medal in Pyeongchang, but the most decorated out Olympian of all time. 

5. Openly LGBTQ Team USA athletes Brittany Bowe, Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon celebrated together at the opening ceremony.]

6. With Canada’s gold medal in the figure skating team event, openly gay pairs skater Eric Radford became the first gay male athlete to ever win a gold medal at the Winter Games. Radford and his skating partner, Meagan Duhamel, went on to win bronze in the pairs skate.

7. In an exclusive interview with HRC’s Mark Lee, Adam Rippon shared the story of his trailblazing journey to Pyeongchang. 

8. Openly LGBTQ speed skater Brittany Bowe helped propel Team USA to a bronze medal finish in the speed skating team pursuit event, the first medal in the event for the U.S. in 16 years

9. At the end of a slopestyle run, NBC showed openly gay U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy sharing a kiss with his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas. While Kenworthy may not be leaving Pyeongchang with a medal, he is a winner in our books, changing hearts and minds along his journey. 

10. Openly gay former Olympic figure skater and current Olympics commentator Johnny Weir’s “Look of the Day” photos from Pyeongchang inspired us all to live our best lives.