Paralympics to see record number of openly LGBTQ+ athletes compete

24 openly LGBTQ+ athletes, including Irish para-cyclist Katie George Dunlevy, to compete in this year's 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Two women in sporting t-shirts pose back to back
Image: LGBTQ+ athlete Katie-George Dunlevy and her para-cycling teammate Eve McCrystal

Following the Tokyo Olympics, which saw a record number of over 200 openly LGBTQ+ athletes take part, the Paralympics will see at least 24 openly LGBTQ+ athletes compete. 

The 24 athletes, according to them, is double the number of Queer athletes seen in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, which saw 12 openly LGBTQ+ athletes compete. 

While the list may grow in the coming weeks as more and more athletes open up about their LGBTQ+ identities, one such athlete is Irish para-cyclist, Katie George Dunlevy.  

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics just finished saw over 200 openly Queer athletes, many of whom brought home medals. One such athlete, Kellie Harrington, brought home the gold medal for Ireland in Women’s Lightweight Boxing. Speaking in interviews after her triumphant win over Brazilian boxer Beatriz Ferreira, Harrington thanked, among others, her partner Mandy Loughlin, for playing a key role in her Olympics win. 

The rising amount of openly LGBTQ+ athletes competing in both the 2020 Olympics and the 2020 Paralympics this year speaks volumes to the importance of having LGBTQ+ role models to look up to in sport; especially given barriers faced by the intersection of LGBTQ+ athletes with disabilities competing in this year’s 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Joining Katie George Dunlevy in the list of LGBTQ+ athletes competing in the Summer 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, according to OutSports, are as follows: 

Canoe – Emma Wiggs (GB)
Cycling – Katie George Dunlevy (Ireland)
Monica Sereda (USA)
Equestrian – Lee Pearson (GB)
Goalball – Asya Miller (USA)
Rowing – Lauren Rowles (GB)
Moran Samuel (Israel)
Sitting Volleyball – Monique Matthews (USA)
Swimming – Edênia Garcia (Brazil)
Track and Field – Robyn Lambird (Australia, 100m)
Maria “Maz” Strong (Australia, shot put)
Triathlon – Hailey Danz (USA)
Wheelchair Basketball – Kaitlyn Eaton (USA)
Jude Hamer (GB)
Bo Kramer (Netherlands)
Tara Llanes (Canada)
Robyn Love (GB)
Mareike Miller (Germany)
Cindy Ouelett (Canada)
Lucy Robinson (GB)
Courtney Ryan (USA)
Laurie Williams (GB)
Wheelchair Fencing – Terry Hayes (USA)
Wheelchair Tennis – Lucy Shuker (GB)

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