Canadian Soccer Player Just Became First Trans Athlete to Win Olympic Gold

Quinn, a midfielder with the Canadian women's soccer team, just made Olympic history.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
August 6, 2021, 4:34pm
A Canadian soccer player just became not just the first trans athlete to win a medal at the Olympics but the first to win a gold.
Quinn hugs their teammates after beating the Swedish team to win gold in women's soccer at Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images

A Canadian soccer player just became not just the first trans athlete to win a medal at the Olympics but the first to win a gold. 

In a thrilling match that went all the way to sudden death penalty kicks, the Canadian women’s soccer team defeated the Swedish team 2 to 1 Friday morning. Among the Canadians was Quinn, a 25-year-old non-binary transgender midfielder who uses they/them pronouns, and only goes by one name. 

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The Toronto-born Quinn plays for the Canadian national team as well as OL Reign out of Tacoma, Washington in the National Women's Soccer League. They were on the Canadian Olympic squad that won bronze in 2016 and 2012 in London. This year was the first time they were playing as an out non-binary transgender person. 

One year ago on Instagram, they came out as transgender and non-binary saying, “I want to be visible to queer folks who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago.” 

The Tokyo Olympics set a record for the number of LGQTQ athletes competing. According to Out Sports, at least 182 LGBTQ athletes were in this year’s Olympics. The other transgender athletes includedLaurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter,  American BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe, and nonbinary American skateboarder Alana Smith. 

Quinn wrote about their feelings regarding the historic games on Instagram. 

“First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don’t know how to feel,” Quinn wrote at the start of the Olympic tournament. “I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.”

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