The Olympics Will Be Completely Gay By 2080, According to Science

Feature image photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Like many of us, I’ve been hyped about the Olympics since I was a kid. Despite the worrying circumstances in which the 2020 event will take place and continuing despair at how global athletics governing bodies are failing to tackle both racial and gender injustices, I’m still steamrollered by the thrill of the games, and the spectacle of thousands of athletes from across the world competing in the biggest of mainstream and tiniest of niche sports.

In recent years, the pre-games excitement has been boosted by rolling coverage of queer athletes as they make it onto their national squads. Nothing makes me happier than revisiting Outsports every day to find a bunch more people have been added (157 and counting)! With over double the out athletes going to Tokyo than the previous gay pinnacle of Rio, the numbers point to both progress on gay acceptance in certain countries and enhanced methods of determining people’s sexuality (i.e. Instagram stalking).

Maybe there’s an element of it being easier to be out now, but there’s no doubting that the Olympics is getting gayer. The question is: how much gayer?

After spending the last 18 months looking at charts about the pandemic every day, I felt empowered as a de facto stats expert to look into this situation. Taking a combo of data from Wikipedia and Gaygames we can see the clear skyrocketing trend of Gaylimpians in recent years.

A line chart showing the number of out athletes at the Olympic Games rising from 1 in 1980 to 157 in 2020

While the number of all athletes has more than doubled since 1980 (from around 5000 in Moscow to over 11000 in Tokyo), the amount gay athletes has grown exponentially, so we’re now seeing an increased proportian of queers on the roster.

Excited over this trend, our searingly insightful master of comments, QueerGirl, asked me: could we plot at what point we will hit 100% LGBTQ+ Olympians? Confident in my ability to properly statistic, I thought: yes we can!

A line chart showing a trend of increasing proportion of lgbtq athletes projecting that the olympics will be completely gay by 2080

Looking at our LGBTQ+ athletes as a percentage of total competitors, the exponential gay growth suggests a trend line that will take us to 100% queer athletes just after 2076, well in time for the 2080 Olympics!

In even better news, because athletes competing in events designated for women increasingly outnumber those in men’s events (8:1 ratio at Tokyo!), we can expect to see an even earlier date for those athletes (who I’m going to dub “sapphletes”) in 2072! That’s not so long to go, is it?

A line chart showing a trend of increasing proportion of lgbtq female athletes projecting that the olympics will be completely gay for women by 2072

While we can all agree that hitting this Olympic gay singularity will be a joyful time for all of us, there could be some pitfalls, with my wife pointing out it’s likely that straight people will want to have some kind of “Straight Games” in protest. I imagine this would lead to devastating wildfires among other consequences.

If you are at all skeptical about this analysis, I think it’s worth heeding both the words and spirit of renowned statistician Megan Rapinoe:

“You can’t win a championship without gays on your team – it’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there!”

This is science, right here.

Before you go! Did you like what you just read? We keep Autostraddle majority free-to-read, but it isn't free to create! And yet most readers don't support this indie queer site. Will you be one of the people who do? A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year and they literally keep us from closing. Will you join? Cancel anytime.

Join A+


Sally lives in the UK. Her work has been featured in a Korean magazine about queer people and their pets, and a book about haunted prisons. She never intended for any of this to happen.

Sally has written 52 articles for us.


    • I have a master’s degree in statistics and I also can confirm the reliability of said exponential plot. In the spirit of inclusion though, and as a Christian, I don’t think we can allow the Olympics to become 100% gay. Some of my best friends are straights and just because they are athletically interior doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a chance to participate. Like for some of the less interesting or boring sports. God bless.

  1. I kinda hate sports but I’m in love with the woman’s US soccer team and I loved watching them kick ass in my mother’s hometown in 2016. I’m also really excited that they’re’s finally going to be some openly trans athletes this year! It’ll be so awesome for all those trans teen girls being denied to play on sporting teams at their high school to see some older badass trans ladies kick ass on a national level

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!