2018 Olympics will have a record 13 out LGBTQ athletes

List includes the first out male Winter Olympians.

There will be a record 13 publicly out LGBTQ athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, including out men for the first time.

The number of out Olympians tops the seven from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. In contrast, there were 56 out Olympians at the much larger Summer Olympics in 2016.

This list includes athletes who are open publicly about their orientation (there has never been an openly transgender Olympic athlete), meaning they have discussed it at some point publicly. We are aware there are other LGBT Winter Olympians who are out within their sport or team, but they have chosen not to discuss it publicly; these athletes are not on this list.

Often when we do this list, readers will alert us to someone we missed and we very much appreciate the tips. Send us any names we missed, along with relevant links, to: [email protected]

2018 Out Winter Olympians

Emilia Andersson Ramboldt (Sweden, ice hockey): A two-time Olympian, Andersson Ramboldt is a defender on Sweden’s ice hockey team and attended Minnesota State University. She married her wife, Anna Ramboldt, in 2015.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter.

Belle Brockhoff (Australia, snowboarding): Brockhoff was selected to Australia’s Winter Olympics team just two months after suffering a bad knee injury, snowboarder Belle. Her participation is subject to her being medically clear. Brockhoff came out publicly as gay in 2013 prior to the 2014 Sochi Games as a protest against anti-LGBT laws that were passed in Russia. Before those Games she said wanted to “rip on the ass” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who pushed the laws.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter

Brittany Bowe (U.S., speedskating): Bowe is a former inline skater who has excelled on the ice, setting world records and winning medals. She competed in Sochi in 2014 but did not medal. An NBC Olympics profile noted that Bowe is dating Dutch speedskater Manon Kamminga. “It’s nice being with somebody that has the same passion, same drive, same goals,” Bowe said. “It’s obviously difficult living on different sides of the world. But we’re both focused on our goal.”
Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

Jorik Hendrickx (Belgium, figure skating): Hendrickx is a two-time Belgian national champion who will be competing in his second Olympics. He came out publicly last month in an interview.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria, ski jumping): This is the second Olympics for Iraschko-Stolz, who won a silver medal in Sochi. She is married.
Social media: Instagram

Barbara Jezeršek (Australia, cross country skiing): This is the second Olympics for Jezeršek, who competed for Slovenia in Sochi. “I think it’s everyone’s personal decision to come out as LGBT athletes,” she told Outsports. “In some sports it’s still a taboo, so I totally understand their decision and support that. It’s hard no matter that we live now in a more open world. On the end of a day it’s all about sport and we do it with biggest passion. But if we can share it with our partners it’s even better.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter.

Gus Kenworthy (U.S., slopestyle free skiing): Easily the most publicized LGBT athlete of the Olympics, Kenworthy (a 2014 silver medalist) is a strong medal contender. He has gotten numerous endorsements and is one of NBC’s faces of the Games.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter

Cheryl Maas (Netherlands, snowboarding): This is the third Olympics for Maas and she is the first Dutch athlete to medal at the XGames. In an interview for Outsports with journalist Gretchen Pleshaw, she talked about falling in love. She is married to former snowboarder Stine Brun Kjeldaas of Norway. The couple have two daughters, Lara and Mila
Social media: Instagram, Twitter

Simona Meiler (Switzerland, snowboarding): Meiler will be representing Switzerland in her third Olympics. She said that being openly gay has allowed her to compete without added stress. “[Athletes] have to be ready to give everything and perform wholeheartedly, and in my eyes that’s only possible if they can accept and express their sexuality,” she said. “That doesn’t mean they have to blare out that they are gay. But it definitely helps if an athlete’s closer environment is supportive and encouraging.”
Social media: Instagram

Sarka Pancochova (Czech Republic, snowboarding): This is the third Olympics for Pancochova and her first as an openly LGBT athlete. In an interview for Outsports with journalist Gretchen Pleshaw, she talked about not having to hide any more and how “stoked” she is to be out.
Social media: Instagram

Eric Radford (Canada, pairs figure skating): This is the second Olympics for Radford, who has won world titles with skating partner Meagan Duhamel, but the first since coming out openly. In his coming out interview with Outsports, he highlighted one benefit of being a male pairs skater who is gay. “A lot of pairs end up dating one another,” Radford said. “It can become risky because your on-ice training can be affected by your off-ice relationship. If you have a fight at home, it makes that training difficult. I used to joke around that I’m the ultimate pair-boy. I never had to worry about developing an off-ice relationship.” Radford is engaged to be married.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter

Adam Rippon (U.S., figure skating): The “old man” of the U.S. skating team at 28, Rippon jokes that he is proud of his “sons” Nathan Chen (18) and Vincent Zhou (17). Rippon came out in 2015 and proudly wears the banner of being the first publicly gay figure skater. His social media is acerbic and witty and must-follow.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter

Ireen Wüst (Netherland, speed skating): Wüst is speed skating royalty with gold medals in the 3,000 meters and team pursuit in Sochi, along with three silvers. She also won gold in 2006 and 2010. She is openly bisexual and married her female partner Letitia de Jong in 2017.
Social media: Instagram

A huge thanks to LGBT Olympic historian Tony Scupham-Bilton who helped us compile this list. His blog, The Queerstory Files, is a compilation of LGBT history.

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