By David “Dirk” Smith, M.Sc., SDL (He/Him)

Update 02/20/2022: Since this article was first published, we would like to add Bruce Mouat, Great Britain, Curling, won a silver medal. Making this list the final tally of Team LGBTQ+ medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics!

As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are underway, with no shortage of drama I might add, one thing to celebrate is how the 36 out LGBTQ+ athletes are performing at this year’s games. As of February 18th, team LGBTQ+ has taken home eight medals, including four gold, one silver and three bronze. This puts team LGBTQ+ on the medal table tied with Canada, ahead of Japan, Italy and South Korea.

 

Now, this ranking is determined based on medals won based on event, rather than the number of individual physical medals that have been distributed. For example, Team Canada won gold in women’s hockey with seven LGBTQ+ athletes who all were awarded an individual medal as members of the team, but for the medal tally it is only considered as one medal. Here’s the standings,

 

Gold

Silver

  • Alex Carpenter, United States, Ice Hockey
  • Bruce Mouat, Great Britain, Curling

Bronze

  • Brittany Bowe, United States, Speed Skating
  • Ireen Wust, Netherlands, Speed Skating
  • Ronja Savolainen, Finland, Ice Hockey

 

The winter Olympics is a much smaller event than its summer counterpart in terms of number of athletes and sports offered. Out of the 11,656 athletes to compete at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, 186 were openly LGBTQ+ which is 1.5% of the total athletes and a record for the largest number of out athletes at any (summer or winter Olympics). The Beijing 2022 Olympics so far have 36 openly LGBTQ+ athletes out of 2,871 total athletes which is 1.2% of the total athletes. This means that the ratio of representation of LGBTQ+ athletes at both summer and winter games is relatively consistent.

 

The encouraging thing here is that out of the 186 LGBTQ+ athletes who competed at Tokyo, 33 distinct medals were awarded, meaning that about 18% of team LGBTQ+ won a medal (this doesn’t take into account multiple medals won by a single athlete). For Beijing 2022, out of the 36 athletes competing, 12 distinct medals were awarded meaning that 33% of team LGBTQ+ won a medal (again not considering multiple medals won by a single athlete). Thus, so far, the Beijing 2022 Olympics have the strongest performing LGBTQ+ Olympic Team!

 

Photo by Edwin Lee via Flickr