lesbian and gay athletes in the Olympics

The year 2012 is the year of Olympics, and the best athletes in the world are concentrated in London in the 30th edition of the Olympic Games of the modern era. Among these thousands of athletes of different categories, the Latino presence amounts to 1053 athletes.

But this year, for the first time in the Games, include the presence of those belonging to the LGBT community, many of whom have already left while the “closet” and fulfill honorably with the quiet mission to give greater visibility to people homosexuals, in professional sport.

Outsports US magazine specializing in sports and focused on the gay community, recounts up to 21 athletes at the London Olympics, which have been defined as gay or lesbian. Among the latter, we can mention, as an example and among others, the German cyclist Judith Arndt, US basketball player Seimone Augustus, the Swedish players Lisa Dahlkvist and Jessica Landström, Alexandra Lacrabère the team of French handball, or also American and famous soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who just made a statement, a few months publicly recognized as a lesbian, in which he said that “the public needs to know that there are people like me playing soccer.”

gay athletes in other Olympic editions

While in Sydney 2000 it was known only 7 athletes were declared homosexuals, and the Athens Olympics in 2004, involving 11 openly gay or lesbian athletes. Among the most famous, they sounded the names of the players Conchita Martinez and Martina Navratilova. Precisely Navratilova, starred in a controversy with fellow tennis player Margaret Court in Austrilia Open this year 2012, responding to the statements of the Court against the marriage between same sex. Martina wrote a letter to his tennis partner, which was published in the Herald Sun of Australia, in which he defended gay marriage and has clarified that “give gays and lesbians the right to marry is not only a question of rights homosexuals, it is a human rights issue. It is of equal rights and protection under the law for all human beings. ”

In the 2008 Olympics, held in Beijing or Beijing (China) just ten openly gay athletes participated, nine of which were women.

The only male participant who publicly acknowledged gay, was the Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who won the gold medal in the 10m jump category, circumstances that took the opportunity to celebrate giving a kiss on the lips to her boyfriend. The photograph of that moment went around the world, making him an icon for fans of the sport and the Olympics LGBT. In the Olympic Games in London, Matthew repeats his participation and hopes to repeat his athletic feat.

Olympic openness towards homosexuals

London is considered one of the most welcoming cities for openly LGBT. But also in the preparation of the Olympic Games and there was talk of completely tolerant character with sexual diversity that wanted to print.

Another controversy was raised before the Games, following that fact and in relation to the prohibition and persecution of homosexuality in many participating countries. Taking advantage of British law protects foreigners seeking asylum in the country because of being persecuted in their own home for reasons of sexual orientation, activist Mark Stephens advised athletes to travel to London from countries where homosexuality is prohibited and punished who requested that British asylum, if they were homosexual.

More than 72 countries in the world prohibit homosexuality in their territories. Of these, five countries-Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Iran and Sudan – is punishable by death penalty to people who consider themselves or are considered homosexuals. Hence Stephens not only recommend to athletes from these countries and which may be of different sexual orientation to apply for asylum to escape and persecution in their countries, but asked the International Olympic Committee for its support to these athletes and condemn the actions of those homophobic countries.