London Olympics to feature 10 out athletes

The number of openly gay and lesbian athletes at the 2012 London Summer Olympics is on par with the totals for Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

The 10 openly gay and lesbians athletes are Matthew Mitcham (Australia, diving); Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian); Judith Arndt (Germany, cycling); Seimone Augustus (U.S., basketball); Imke Duplitzer (Germany, fencing); Megan Rapinoe (U.S. soccer); Marilyn Agliotti (Netherlands, field hockey); Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey); Natalie Cook (Australia, beach volleyball); and Jessica Landström (Sweden, soccer). In addition, Pia Sundhage, U.S. women’s soccer head coach, is openly gay.

This compares with 11 in Athens and 10 in Beijing, showing not much has changed in athletes being public about their sexual orientation despite much more willingness of the public to deal with it. There was one more lesbian who qualified for London — U.S. wrestler Stephany Lee — but she was kicked off the team last month after testing positive for smoking marijuana. And with softball no longer an Olympic sport, that cut down on the number of potential out athletes. Outsports knows of another male athlete who thought about coming out if he made his Olympic team, but he came up short at the trials.

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