Gay athletes are making history at the 2018 Winter Olympics

(CNN) Why don’t face it. Gay athletes have likely been setting Olympic records because the days of the ancient Greeks.

First, Group USA’s Adam Rippon made background by becoming the first out gay and lesbian man from the US to honor in a Winter Olympics by taking house the bronze for his totally free skate performance.
Then, Canadian Eric Radford grew to become the first openly gay Winter Olympics champion after winning the precious metal with partner Meagan Duhamel within the pairs free skate performance.

The breakthrough come after NBC faced critique for straight-washing its protection of Opening Ceremonies by not really identifying LGBTQ athletes in the same way this highlights athletes for their gender or even ethnic backgrounds. Advocates say that knowing LGBTQ athletes helps normalize their own presence and inspire those who recognize with them. They can encourage others to end up so that one day it won’t be this kind of big deal that they are participating in international sports activities events.

The significance of their victories was not dropped on the athletes as they posed jointly for a photo with medals.
“So happy to be wearing these medals plus showing the world what we can do! inch Radford said in an Instagram blog post.

Therefore proud to be wearing these medals and showing the world what we can perform! #Represent🏳 ️ ‍ 🌈 #Olympics #pyeongchang2018 #Medalist #figureskating #figureskater #fabulous #proud #outathletes #TeamNorthAmerica

A post shared by Eric Radford (@ericradford85) upon

Several milestones

It was the newest win, so to speak, for Team LGBTQ. A record number of 14 out sports athletes are participating in this year’s Online games, based on SB Nation’s Outsports .
That’s upward from seven in the 2014 Wintertime Games, according to the site. And yet, may far cry from the 2016 Summertime Olympics, which boasted a record number of LGBTQ athletes , with at least 41 participating.
Outsports’ tally includes athletes who have at some time spoken publicly about their alignment. “We are aware there are other LGBT Winter season Olympians who are out within their sports activity or team, but they have selected not to discuss it publicly; these types of athletes are not on this list, inch the outlet notes.
Another sign of progress intended for LGBTQ representation at the Olympics could be the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Pride House , the safe space in the Olympic Town for LGBTQ athletes and their own supporters. The first Pride House made an appearance in the 2010 Winter Olympics within Vancouver, but this one is the very first to be affiliated with and hosted with a national Olympic committee. And it’s the very first Pride House in Asia.

Mixing sports activities and politics

Rippon is one of 2 openly gay American athletes in order to represent team USA for the first time during winter Olympics, along with freestyle skiing’s Gus Kenworthy.
At first, the pair did not shy away through mixing sports with politics.
In The month of january, Rippon criticized the White Home for tapping US Vice Chief executive Mike Pence to lead the state American delegation to the 2018 Winter season Olympic opening ceremony, according to USA Nowadays . After he made those people comments, USA Today reported that will Rippon dropped a request to satisfy with Pence. The vice president’s office later said he by no means reached out to set up a conversation along with Rippon.
Following the opening ceremony, Kenworthy trolled Pence with a photo of him plus Rippon with a caption that incorporated, “Eat your heart out, Pence. ”

The particular #OpeningCeremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are formally under way! I feel incredibly privileged to be here in Korea competing for that US and I' m therefore proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Consume your heart out, Pence. #TeamUSA #TeamUSGay 🇺 🇲 🏳 ️ ‍ 🌈

The post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

On Tuesday, though, Rippon mentioned he didn’t want the debate to specify his Olympics experience or distract from the games.

Why portrayal matters

Regardless, the skating star mentioned he would keep using his system to give his skating “a better purpose. ”
“I can’t tone this down. I’m being me plus being myself, ” Rippon mentioned. “I’ve got so many messages conserve and invest money all over the country — I’m getting therefore emotional thinking about it — I think essential it’s so important. ”
The number of openly gay sports athletes is still relatively small, and those which come out tend to do so after their own first major competitions — for any variety of reasons.
Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, introduced he was gay in 2013 , after President Obama called him to the official US abordnung to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who competed in 2006 plus 2010, did not officially come out till his 2011 autobiography. He said upon Twitter in The month of january that he did not view his libido as “something that needs addressing. inch
In an job interview before the Olympics, Kenworthy explained the reason why coming out as a high profile figure has been important to him.
“The reason that I desired to come out in such a public way had been, like, in the hopes of assisting people that were struggling in the exact same position that I struggled with for the majority of of my life, in the closet, inch Kentworthy told Us Weekly .
“I have individuals constantly coming up to me and delivering me messages saying how much our story has helped them fully understand themselves, ” he told the particular publication. “And for that reason, it’s simply been the best decision that We have ever made. ”