Meet Quinn, the first trans athlete to win an Olympic gold


Non-binary transgender footballer Quinn has made Olympic history (Pic: Jamie Smed)

Canadian football player, Quinn has become the first out transgender and non-binary sportsperson to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who goes by the single name of Quinn, and their team beat Sweden in a tense final at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday, securing their women’s football gold medals.

Quinn had earlier already made history by being, together with US skateboarder Alana Smith and New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, part of the first-ever group of transgender and nonbinary athletes to participate in the Olympics.

The athlete, who plays for the team OL Reign, first made their Canadian national team debut in 2014 at the age of 18. They came out as transgender in 2020 and uses they/them pronouns.

Last year, in an interview with The Trans Sporter Room, Quinn said: “It’s a place for me to trailblaze as a trans athlete. I want to use my platform. One of the reasons I came out was to use my platform and I’m hoping with my voice can help uplift other trans voices in our community.”

Speaking after their team won the semifinal against the US on Monday, Quinn told CBS Sports that they had been “getting messages from young people saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before.”

They said: “Athletics is the most exciting part of my life and it brings me the most joy. If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that’s my legacy and that’s what I’m here for.”

Quinn earlier wrote on Instagram that they were “proud” to see their name on the Olympic lineup but it also left them with mixed feelings.

“I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world. I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets.

“Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over… and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

This year’s Tokyo Games has the highest number of out LGBTQ+ athletes to ever participate in the Olympics, with a known 182 competitors. That compares to the 56 who took part in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


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