McCoughtry was a part of the U.S Women’s Olympic Basketball team that scored gold at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The six-foot-one McCoughtry identifies as gay. In a very emotional Instagram post, she stated that connection is all that matters to her.
In the same post, McCoughtry alluded to the discrimination she and her ex-fiancee faced. Family, friends, and professional relationships were affected.
Wright made a name for herself at the 2016 Rio Paralympics by scooping five medals – four silver and one bronze. Hailing from Great Britain, Crystal is a track and road para cyclist. Speaking to British Cycling, Lane-Wright did outline both her sexuality and her career stating that she sees being gay as an advantage as it made her stronger.
Stronger indeed as she shares the enviable title of having multiple medals at a single Paralympic tournament.
South African-born Leigh-Ann Naidoo is an out Olympian beach volleyball player. Naidoo competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens but unfortunately, her team did not qualify to advance to the medal rounds.
A passionate activist for LGBTQ+ rights, Naidoo was asked to become an ambassador of the Gay Games. Originally from Durban, she now resides in Cape Town, South Africa with her long-term girlfriend Kelly Gillespie.
Olympic diver Robert Páez has used his illustrious diving career as a soundboard for LGBTQ+ issues. Growing up in a very conservative town in Venezuela, Páez struggled for years to fully appreciate his sexuality.
Páez spoke eloquently about the gay experience, saying that life is beautiful and no one should be hidden in a closet. He competed in the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in the three-meter springboard division.
Italian swimmer Rachele Bruni holds a special place in the LGBTQ+ community as being recognized as the first gay Italian athlete to come out. Bruni, twenty-five at the time, bagged a silver at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Bruni’s public admission has helped steer inclusivity in Italy.
She admits that she never experienced any anxiety or need to keep her sexuality a secret and everyone close to her knew she was gay.