Quinn: first trans Olympian not only thinking of medals at Tokyo 2020

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But at Tokyo 2020, the star athlete known as Quinn isn’t just thinking about medals.

After Monday’s semifinal success – Canada’s first victory over the United States Women’s National Team in 20 years – Quinn, who uses the pronouns them and them, told CBC Sports they had “received messages from kids saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before. “

“Track and field is the most exciting part of my life and it brings me the most joy.

“If I can allow children to play the sports they love, that is my heritage and that is what I am here for.”

With Quinn's help, Canada defeated the United States in the women's football semifinals on August 2.
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Quinn’s mother Linda played basketball at the University of Waterloo in Canada, while their father Bill played rugby at the University of Western Ontario.

Quinn, who plays for Seattle OL Reign in the NWSL, made his Canadian debut in 2014.

The 25-year-old has since made 68 appearances for his country, including a bronze medal with the team in Rio in 2016 – but at the time, they weren’t publicly known to be trans.

Fast forward to 2021 and on July 21, Quinn became the first trans athlete to compete in an Olympics.

“First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don’t know how to feel,” they wrote in an Instagram post.

“I’m proud to see ‘Quinn’ on the lineup and on my credentials. I’m sad to know that there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.

“I feel optimistic for change. Change of legislature. Changes in rules, structures and mentalities.”

“Most of the time, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls are banned from sports. Trans women face discrimination and prejudice while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight is not about to end. finish… and I’ll be celebrating when we ‘you are all here.’

Quinn is a dynamic midfielder who played a key role in opening the game for Canada. They have started four of the five games at the Olympic Games, including the semi-final against the United States, and will certainly play an important role in the final.

Goalkeeper Stéphanie Labbé has played a crucial role in Canada’s success so far and the team will look to record international goalscorer Christine Sinclair – in both men’s and women’s football – and her leadership as captain to help them win. the gold medal.

Team Canada players pose for a team photo ahead of the semi-final against the United States.
READ: Skateboarder is youngest Olympic medalist in 85 years

This isn’t the first time Quinn has made history.

After playing college football at Duke (or “football” as it is called there) from 2013 to 2017, they became the most drafted Canadian player in NWSL history when the Washington Spirit picked them third overall in 2018.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been billed as the most inclusive games to date, with Outsports reporting in July that there would be at least 180 LGBTQ + Olympians in Tokyo and at least four athletes who are trans or non-binary. .

In Rio, the number of LGBTQ + athletes was only 56 and there were no transgender athletes. It was a decision of the 2004 International Olympic Committee (IOC) that officially allowed trans athletes to compete.

Quinn is joined by story creator Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender woman to compete in the Olympics.

Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, failed all three of her snatch attempts, including one at 120kg and two at 125kg, meaning she was no longer in contention for a medal. After her attempts, she greeted the crowd and bowed before leaving the stage.

There has been a lot of debate about including trans athletes at the Games, with the IOC saying it will revise the guidelines for trans athletes after Tokyo 2020.

“I am not entirely unaware of the controversy surrounding my participation in these Games,” said Hubbard after competing on Monday.

“And as such, I would especially like to thank the IOC for having, I think, really affirmed its commitment to the principles of Olympism and for establishing that sport is something for everyone. It is inclusive. , accessible. “

Canadian midfielder Quinn is scored by American forward Lynn Williams (right) in the Olympic half-game.

“They have embraced the change”

Team USA skater Alana Smith, who identifies as non-binary, competed in Tokyo, and fellow American Chelsea Wolfe, who is trans, was in Tokyo as a backup for the BMX team from the American team.

Canadian midfielder Quinn shared on Instagram in September 2020 that they were trans. Quinn has since spoken about their personal journey, saying they want to be a role model for future generations of athletes so they feel they can compete as the authentic themselves.

“I know for myself that this is something that I will do again for the rest of my life. As I have lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I have always been asked when I would come publicly, ”Quinn said.

“Instagram is a weird space. I wanted to sum up the feelings I had towards my trans identity in one post, but that’s really not why anyone is here, including myself.

“So instead I want to be visible to gay people who don’t see people like them on their thread. I know it saved my life years ago. I want to challenge cis people. […] be better allies. “

Cis, or cisgender, is a term that refers to people whose sex matches the sex assigned to them at birth.

Quinn said Canada and her teammates have welcomed their transition, saying on Instagram that “they’ve embraced the change and turned into uncomfortable conversations and I love them for that.”

Canada will be aiming for its first Olympic gold in women’s football on Friday when it faces Sweden.

The final was moved to a later kick-off time and moved to another location due to heat issues.

The game was scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. local time on Friday in Tokyo, but both teams have expressed concerns about the heat and humidity.

Organizers confirmed on Thursday that the gold medal match will now take place at 9 p.m. local time in Yokohama.

The change also means that the men’s bronze medal match between Mexico and Japan will now start at 6 p.m. local time at Saitama Stadium.

“In order to continue to offer the best possible conditions to the players, and taking into account the impact of the weather conditions at the Olympic stadium in recent days, it has been confirmed that this match (women’s Olympic final) will now take place in 9:00 p.m. at Yokohama International Stadium, ”read a Tokyo 2020 press release.

Sweden aim to take a step better than the 2016 Games when they lost 2-1 to Germany in the final.

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