Feature image of Chelsea Gray and Brittney Griner, two of the 13 Olympics women’s basketball gay players by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are finally underway!
There is, admittedly, a sense of “oh, we’re still doing this?” connected to the 2020 Summer Olympics: already delayed for a year due to the pandemic, the international event is forging on, despite another wave of COVID infections (including in the host nation) and disparate vaccination regiments (including less than 20% of Japanese citizens). But, somehow, we are still doing this and so, of course, the gays are ready to show up and show out.
If you’ve been watching the games thus far, it’s not your imagination: they are considerably gayer than in years past. According to Outsports, there are 163 publicly out LGBTQ athletes at this year’s games, compared to just 23 in 2012 and 56 in 2016. Among those, we count 14 basketball gays, listed below in alphabetical order.
A few points of note:
+ You’ll be able to watch twice as much basketball during these games, as the Olympics debuts the 3×3 format this year. It’s a much faster paced style of play that should be fun for even the most casual of basketball fans. Check out the highlights from Stefanie Dolson’s opening round 3×3 match-up for a taste of what you can expect.
+ So many adorable couples! On the one hand, you love to see it, but on the other: how’s a girl supposed to become an Olympic trophy wife — a natural extension our WNBA wife ambitions — if most of these Olympians are boo’d up?
+ The Olympics are a great time to spotlight international gay talent but most of the media I consume is still U.S.-centric so it’s possible (likely) that I’ve missed someone. If you know of a verifiably queer Olympian that we should highlight, hit me (@natthedem) or Heather (@theheatherhogan) up on Twitter, or drop a note in the A+ Priority Contact box (in the right sidebar on the Autostraddle home page) and we’ll try to include them.
Julie Allemand (BEL)
Club Teams: Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomération (LFB), Indiana Fever (WNBA)
Sue Bird (USA)
Club Team: Seattle Storm (WNBA)
Club Team: Poznan (EBLK)
Stefanie Dolson (USA)
Event: 3×3 Basketball
Club Teams: Henan Phoenix (WCBA), Chicago Sky (WNBA)
Chelsea Gray (USA)
Club Teams: Spar Girona (LFB), Las Vegas Aces (WNBA)
Club Teams: UMMC Ekaterinburg (RPL), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage (PUR)
Kim Mestdagh (BEL)
Leilani Mitchell (AUS)
Club Teams: Southside Flyers (WNBL), Washington Mystics (WNBA)
Dayshalee Salamán (PUR)
Club Teams: Cangrejeras (Puerto Rico)
Club Teams: UMMC Ekaterinburg (RPL), Seattle Storm (WNBA)
Club Teams: Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Ann Wauters (BEL)