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The most colorful Olympics in history

The most colorful Olympics in history

access_timeAugust 29, 2016 10:42 pm

“I hope that my story can add something to what is already out there. To show other people who might be struggling with their sexuality, not only that it's ok to be gay, but it's a good thing, and it won't change who you are or limit what you can achieve”, Robbie Manson, New Zealand rower.

We are very sorry for homophobic people who love Olympics but his year is historic for the LGBT community in matters of visibility within sports and specifically in Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

 
This we should thank to the Brazilian and International Olympic Committee and the support of countless athletes who made efforts to transform this edition of the Olympics in the most inclusive one in the history of games. Not only in the percentage of female participants, 45% of the total athletes, but in the message of inclusion transmitted at the opening and throughout the trials.

 
One of the most noteworthy events was the gay kiss in the torch relay in Ipanema and the gay kiss shown in the screens of the Maracana Stadium before 40 thousand spectators awaiting the start of the opening ceremony of the Olympics. And then, in that opening, transexual model Lea T entered by bike with a presentation poster followed by the Brazilian delegation. Even more, apart from her, other four trans people were part of the opening ceremony.
 
One of the funniest and more interesting events in that athletic party was the swimmer Amini Fonua, from Tonga, who wore a swimsuit with words “gays and lesbians” in it and commented that, even though it was not an official competition suit, he used it during trainings and acclimatization in Rio pools.
 
It is also noteworthy the creation of singer Eduarda Maria: a gay mascot for the Olympics who, in a convertible Beetle, wandered around the streets of Rio calling everybody’s attention wherever she went.
 
In the Olympics’ last edition 13 athletes came out but in this edition there are 44 participants who publicly expressed their sexuality, among them competitors, trainers and paralympic athletes. Rio even received Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, who arrived along with his husband, architect Gauthier Destenay. Bettel is the only world leader

 
In the previous edition of the Olympic Games, 13 athletes had publicly assumed to be gay, but this year more than 44 participants have publicly assumed it, including competitors, coaches and Paralympians. Rio even received the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, who came to follow the games with his husband, the architect, Gauthier Destenay. Bettel is the only world leader who has assumed to be gay nowadays.
 
However, Rio has brought us even more happy surprises, such as the participation of the first same-sex couple to compete in the Olympics, the British hockey players Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh. We also welcome the commitment of Isadora Cerullo, the Brazilian rugby player to whom her girlfriend, Marjorie Enya, proposed marriage during the Olympic Games, making the player the first person who was proposed marriage in an event like this.
 
One of the salient news of this athletic event are the new recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the transsexual athletes. Since 2003, the IOC Medical Committee decides which athletes who have undergone sex change surgery can compete under their new gender in the Olympics.
 
Thus, in 2015, the IOC organized a new committee of doctors and scientists to review the old recommendations that were given to international sports federations, in which it was suggested that the participation of transsexual people who had the surgery should be prevented, but this was invalidated after the review. Thus, in 2016 we saw these new recommendations being implemented for the first time. These are not mandatory, but provide guidance to the international sports federations.
 
In the document sent to BBC Brazil, signed by the IOC medical commission in 2015, we read, "It is necessary to ensure, as much as possible, that transgender athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sports competitions."
 
And this is how, despite the homophobic and sexist comments that the press and part of the public have lost time expressing, these participants show us how they have got where they are today: with attitude, courage, without surrendering and never denying their nature, never denying who they really are. They have won the gold medal in giving us a much larger and visible space on the podium, and for that, we toast in their names.
 
Photo originally used by Sin etiquetas in the article "Río 2016: Ellas dos protagonizaron la propuesta de matrimonio más romántica".

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Ale Chamorro

Redactora, SOMOSGAY.