Rio Olympians Break New Record: Not in Sports, but in LGBT Tolerance

By Jay Chowdhury


Less than one week in, the (notoriously dreaded) Rio Olympics has made world records. Was it in the pole jump? The footrace? Archery? Badminton? Or was it the danged Michael Phelps again?

No, it’s even better. The Rio Olympics has warmed hearts by permitting the first ever married same-sex couple to play together, in a small but impactful leap for LGBT awareness.

Helen Richardson-Walsh and Kate Richardson-Walsh of Great Britain made history Saturday when they took the field for their first match of the Rio Olympics, becoming the first married couple to play together on the same team at an Olympics. The duo previously won a bronze medal on the British field hockey team in 2012. They have been teammates for almost two decades.

According to The Sun:

Kate, who played with a metal plate in her face at London 2012 just five days after breaking her jaw, said: “We just want to show that it’s a normal thing. We’re not out there shouting it, it’s just part and parcel of who we are.”

Helen added: “It was definitely a conscious decision (to come out). If you are really open about it, people say, ‘Why do you make such a big deal about it?’ “


It’s also worth noting that the Rio Olympics will be hosting the world record number of 43 LGBT athletes in the coming Olympics, stresses Cosmopolitan.

Founder of OutSports.com Cyd Zeigler stated, “The sports world is far more evolved on LGBTQ issues than we give it credit for. While there may still be issues in some front offices, the athletes and fans have been ready, willing and able to accept and welcome gay teammates and colleagues for many years”

British hockey players Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson mark the forth time competing in the Olympics. They made their Olympic debut together in Sydney Olympics (2000) and  represented Great Britain by winning the first Olympic hockey medals in two decades in London Olympics (2012). History will be made in Rio, as this long-time teammates compete in the Olympic games as the first same-sex married couple.

“We’re a couple, we love each other, and we happen to be playing in the same team. I think because our teammates and our friends and family have all been so supportive and understanding of that we also don’t see anything strange or different,” said Kate in an interview with  BBC



Editor’s Note: This article has been shared by the organization Atheist, Humanist, and Secular Students.


4 thoughts on “Rio Olympians Break New Record: Not in Sports, but in LGBT Tolerance

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