What’s better than one day of celebrating queer sporty ladies from around the world? Two days of celebrating queer sporty ladies from around the world, of course! So, as promised, here is Part II of my globe-trotting adventure through this year’s out LGBTI female Olympians. And, yes, I know there are certainly more gay ladies competing in the Olympics. But these international ladies have gone on record with their definitive “Yep, I’m gay” to the world. So we are gonna root, root, root for the homo team along with them. (Also, I messed up my alphabetical order, so France gets included in this list - sorry, France! Je t’aime.)
Mélanie Henique, swimming
Last year the swimmer and some friends were the victims of a homophobic attack, which left her with a broken nose.
Alexandra Lacrabere, handball
In 2012 she spoke out about being a gay handball player to the magazine “HandAction,” which is possibly the best name for a magazine for a lesbian to come out in ever.
Dutee Chand, track & field
Chand won a major victory for intersex athletes everywhere when she appealed her ban for high testosterone levels and won last summer – clearing the way for her to compete in Rio.
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, field hockey
She has been out since before the 2012 Olympics and was formerly in a relationship with her teammate Maartje Paumen.
Maartje Paumen, field hockey
She came out to her family in 2009 when she told them about her relationship with Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and subsequently spoke about how liberating it was to the newspaper de Volkskrant in 2011.
Tessie Savelkouls, judo
The judo champ (in blue above) contacted Outsports and said she would be proud to be included on the list of out athletes. She competes Friday in the Women over 78 kg Round of 16.
Marleen van Iersel, beach volleyball
The Dutch beach volleyballer talked about her relationship with her girlfriend in a 2014 interview.
Katie Duncan, soccer
She is married to fellow Kiwi soccer player Priscilla Duncan.
Caster Semenya, track & field
In 2009, the South African runner was subject to humiliating gender tests after her results and physique were called into question. She has since been reinstated, but like Dutee Chand continues to be a source of controversy over the rules surrounding intersex athletes.
Sunette Stella Viljoen, javelin
In a Facebook post in 2014 the javelin thrower spoke about her disappointment from the 2012 London games and how her new relationship with her girlfriend helped her heal. But she also talked about how the revelations of her sexual orientation caused her family to ostracize and reject her.
Lisa Dahlkvist, soccer
If Google translated right, in 2008 she became the first Swedish soccer player to come out publicly.
Nilla Fisher, soccer
Once again, my friend Google Translate tells she came out in 2013 when announced her plans to marry her girlfriend.
Hedvig Lindahl, soccer
The Swedish goalie (or keeper, for all you folks who call it football) married her wife in 2011 and they have an adorable dog/wolf together.
Carolina Seger, Sweden, soccer
When she came out in 2013, the soccer star talked about how she used to hide her sexuality and feel guilty but now wanted to talk about it openly to support young women in the same situation.
So there you have it. In the spirit of the Olympics, I think we can all agree that whether you are cheering for the gay ladies from the states, gay ladies from elsewhere around the world, the important thing is you are cheering for super gay ladies - period. Go us.