Canadian footballer Quinn becomes the first openly trans Olympic medal winner

While the football final has yet to be played, previous success has guaranteed the athlete and their team the Silver Medal at the very least.

A person playing football in a big stadium

The Canadian footballer Quinn has earned themselves a place in the history books by becoming the first openly trans athlete to ever take home a medal at the Olympic Games.

In a recent social media post, the athlete discussed being recognised as a history-maker. The Instagram caption read, “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 the world. I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets.

“Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. 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.”

While the footballer previously won a Bronze medal with the Canadian team during the Rio Olympics in 2016, they have since ‘come out’ as a non-binary trans person, with Quinn sharing on social media at the time, “Coming out is hard (and kinda bs). I know for me it’s something I’ll be doing over again for the rest of my life. As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly.”

The Canadian women’s football team beat America to guarantee themselves at least the Silver medal, but their upcoming game against Sweden on Friday will decide who takes home the Gold.

The participation of trans athletes in the Games has been much discussed this year due to unfortunate continued criticism about trans participation in sport. Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealand weightlifter whose presence garnered much media attention, shared during a recent press conference that she didn’t want to be considered as a role model for trans athletes.

“I’m not sure that a role model is something that I could aspire to be. Instead I hope that just by being here, I can provide some sense of encouragement. And I just hope that different people who are undergoing any difficulty or struggle with their lives,” Hubbard said, “that they can perhaps see that there are opportunities in the world. There are opportunities to live authentically, and as we are.”

Hubbard continued, “What I hope is, if I am in a position to look back, that this will just be a small part of history, just a small step. I really hope that with time, any significance to this occasion is diminished by things to come.”

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