The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics came to an end this past Sunday, with the closing ceremony featuring the athletes who represented over 90 countries competing for a medal and a nod towards Italy, the next host for the 2026 Winter Games. This year’s Olympics saw dazzling performances and records broken, including the number of out LGBTQ athletes to ever compete at the Winter Olympics.
There were over 36 out athletes from 13 different countries competing in Beijing, including the first out nonbinary Winter Olympian. LGBTQ athletes were working hard behind the scenes as well; retired out figure skaters Adam Rippon and Jorik Hendrickx returned to the Olympics as coaches for Team USA and Team Belgium, respectively. Read more about the history of LGBTQ athletes at the Olympics in GLAAD’s Guide to Covering LGBTQ Athletes at the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Here are the top 10 LGBTQ moments that happened at the 2022 Winter Games:
Ireen Wüst makes Olympic history
Out Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst won gold in the women’s 1500 meter event and bronze in women’s team pursuit, becoming the first athlete to win gold medals at five different Winter Olympics.
A moment for @Ireenw please.
What a Games the Dutch speed skater has had!
— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) February 18, 2022
Guillaume Cizeron wins gold in ice dance
Out pairs figure skater Guillaume Cizeron won the gold medal for Team France in the figure skating’s ice dance event with his partner Gabriella Papadakis, also setting a new world record of 226.98 in ice dance.
Gay skater Guillaume Cizeron and partner Gabriella Papadakis win OIympic gold – https://t.co/J9rfDC0ah1
— Queerty (@Queerty) February 14, 2022
Team Canada becomes Olympic ice hockey champions
The Canadian women’s ice hockey team, which featured the most out LGBTQ players ever out of all the hockey teams, took home the gold in the women’s ice hockey final.
All medaling women’s ice hockey teams featured LGBTQ athletes
Women’s ice hockey gold medalist Canada, silver medalist USA, and bronze medal winner Finland all had at least one out LGBTQ player on their rosters. Women’s ice hockey lead the winter Olympic sports in out LGBTQ visibility, with at least 13 out athletes competing across 12 teams.
Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund wins gold medal in women’s ski cross
Out freestyle skier Sandra Naeslund took home gold in the women’s ski cross competition final, earning Team Sweden’s first gold medal in women’s freestyle skiing.
Sandra Naeslund wins the #Gold medal in women’s ski cross for Sweden as she dominates the race!
— Olympics (@Olympics) February 17, 2022
Curler Bruce Mouat wins silver and holds the flag for Team Great Britain at the Closing Ceremony
Out British athlete Bruce Mouat won a silver medal in curling and was chosen as the flagbearer for Team Great Britain at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday.
Brittany Bowe wins bronze medal and is Team USA’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony
Out speedskater Brittany Bowe won her first individual medal in the women’s long-track speedskating 1000-meter event, winning the bronze for Team USA; she also gave her spot in the women’s long-track speedskating 500-meter competition to fellow speedskater Erin Jackson, who went on to win the gold medal and become the first Black woman to earn an individual gold medal for Team USA at the Winter Games. Bowe was chosen as the flagbearer for Team USA at the Opening Ceremony’s Parade of Nations.
For the first time in her career, Brittany Bowe wins an individual Olympic medal!
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2022
Timothy Leduc officially becomes first out nonbinary athlete to compete at Winter Games
Pairs figure skater Timothy Leduc became the first nonbinary athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics, competing for Team USA and finishing in the top 10 for the pairs figure skating finals
Pairs skater Timothy LeDuc became first openly nonbinary U.S. Winter Olympian when they took the ice. LeDuc and partner Ashley Gain-Gribble placed seventh in their Olympic debut.
“It was such a joyous moment for us out there today,” LeDuc said. https://t.co/XC3yOpLrIX
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 18, 2022
Couple Nicole Silveira and Simona Meiler compete for gold
Brazilian skeleton racer Nicole Silveira and Belgian skeleton racer Simona Meiler, who are dating, competed against each other in the women’s skeleton racing final.
Andrew Blaser dons rainbow saddle for skeleton racing event
Out athlete Andrew Blaser, who was one of the only out LGBTQ skeleton racers competing at the Olympics this year, wore a rainbow saddle for his competition event as a expression of LGBTQ visibility.
— Outsports (@outsports) February 12, 2022
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