Openly LGBT Olympians who will be in the 2016 Rio Games

Fourth-Place Medal

Over the course of Olympic history, there have been plenty of LGBT athletes and coaches. Few, though, have attended the Games with their sexualities known openly. In 2008, only 12 out of 10,708 athletes were openly gay. There were just six in 2010.

Those numbers are changing with a record-breaking 40 openly LGBT athletes descending on Rio this summer. Team USA basketball star Elena Delle Donne came out as gay in a Vogue article leading up to the games. Get to know some of those pioneering Olympians as they look to make their marks on history.

<p>Both a WNBA and Olympic star, Delle Donne has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She will publicly come out in a profile with Vogue this month, according to OutSports. (Getty) </p>
Elena Delle Donne – USA, basketball

Both a WNBA and Olympic star, Delle Donne has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She will publicly come out in a profile with Vogue this month, according to OutSports. (Getty)

<p>Four years ago in London, at age 29, Adams became the first British woman to ever win a women’s boxing gold. Since then, she has become one of Team Great Britain's most well-known athletes. The boxing superstar is openly bisexual. (Getty) </p>
Nicola Adams – Great Britain, boxing

Four years ago in London, at age 29, Adams became the first British woman to ever win a women’s boxing gold. Since then, she has become one of Team Great Britain's most well-known athletes. The boxing superstar is openly bisexual. (Getty)

<p>Eight years after her Olympic debut, Augustus will be going for her third-straight gold medal with the U.S. women's basketball team. The former LSU standout and current Minnesota Lynx player married her longtime partner LaTaya Varner in 2015. (Getty) </p>
Seimone Augustus – USA, basketball

Eight years after her Olympic debut, Augustus will be going for her third-straight gold medal with the U.S. women's basketball team. The former LSU standout and current Minnesota Lynx player married her longtime partner LaTaya Varner in 2015. (Getty)

<p>Chand is hitting all sorts of historic marks in this year's Olympics - not only is she the first Indian woman to race the 100-meter sprint since 1980, but she also defeated IOC hormone therapy regulations that many are calling discriminatory. Chand was previously barred from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (AP) </p>
Dutee Chand – India, track and field

Chand is hitting all sorts of historic marks in this year's Olympics - not only is she the first Indian woman to race the 100-meter sprint since 1980, but she also defeated IOC hormone therapy regulations that many are calling discriminatory. Chand was previously barred from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (AP)

<p>One of the most recognizable names in all of diving, Daley is back for his third Olympic Games this year. The 22-year-old from Great Britain received the bronze medal in the 10-meter platform event back at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is engaged to American film producer Dustin Lance Black. (Getty) </p>
Tom Daley – Great Britain, diving

One of the most recognizable names in all of diving, Daley is back for his third Olympic Games this year. The 22-year-old from Great Britain received the bronze medal in the 10-meter platform event back at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is engaged to American film producer Dustin Lance Black. (Getty)

<p>Ellis, who is in her second year as head coach of the U.S. women's national soccer team, was an assistant during the team's gold medal run at the 2008 Games. She married Betsy Stephenson in 2013. (Getty) </p>
Jill Ellis – USA, soccer

Ellis, who is in her second year as head coach of the U.S. women's national soccer team, was an assistant during the team's gold medal run at the 2008 Games. She married Betsy Stephenson in 2013. (Getty)

<p>The all-time leader of beach volleyball titles, Franca entered retirement after taking bronze in the 2012 Olympics. It was short-lived, though, as she returned to competition and earned a spot at the Rio Games. She married fellow beach volleyball player Liliane Maestrini in 2013. (Getty) </p>
Larissa Franca – Brazil, beach volleyball

The all-time leader of beach volleyball titles, Franca entered retirement after taking bronze in the 2012 Olympics. It was short-lived, though, as she returned to competition and earned a spot at the Rio Games. She married fellow beach volleyball player Liliane Maestrini in 2013. (Getty)

<p>Gal began his riding career at 14 years old as a jumper. Now 46, the Dutch dressage rider has achieved longstanding success at the international level. Gal is in a long-term relationship with teammate Hans Peter Minderhoud, who also made the Dutch Olympic dressage team. (Getty) </p>
Edward Gal – Netherlands, equestrian

Gal began his riding career at 14 years old as a jumper. Now 46, the Dutch dressage rider has achieved longstanding success at the international level. Gal is in a long-term relationship with teammate Hans Peter Minderhoud, who also made the Dutch Olympic dressage team. (Getty)

<p>The 6-foot-8 Phoenix Mercury star will be competing in her first Games after deciding not to participate in the 2012 London Olympics becuase of family illness and her school schedule at Baylor. Griner publicly came out in an interview with SI.com on April 17, 2013. (Getty) </p>
Brittney Griner – USA, basketball

The 6-foot-8 Phoenix Mercury star will be competing in her first Games after deciding not to participate in the 2012 London Olympics becuase of family illness and her school schedule at Baylor. Griner publicly came out in an interview with SI.com on April 17, 2013. (Getty)

<p>In 2012, Hester was one of four riders who represented the United Kingdom at the London Olympics in the individual and team dressage events. With him riding Uthopia, the team won gold. Hester is openly gay and was formerly in a relationship with Spencer Wilton, who is also on the Rio Olympic team. (Getty) </p>
Carl Hester – Great Britain, equestrian

In 2012, Hester was one of four riders who represented the United Kingdom at the London Olympics in the individual and team dressage events. With him riding Uthopia, the team won gold. Hester is openly gay and was formerly in a relationship with Spencer Wilton, who is also on the Rio Olympic team. (Getty)

<p>Heyman made her debut for the Australian national team in 2010 and the Rio Games will be her first Olympics. She plays for the Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League. The 28-year-old said she came out to her parents a decade ago. (Getty) </p>
Michelle Heyman – Australia, soccer

Heyman made her debut for the Australian national team in 2010 and the Rio Games will be her first Olympics. She plays for the Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League. The 28-year-old said she came out to her parents a decade ago. (Getty)

<p>Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl plays for Chelsea and has been named the country's goalkeeper of the year five times, including both in 2014 and 2015. She married her wife, Sabine Willms, in 2011, and their son was born in 2014. (Getty) </p>
Hedvig Lindahl – Sweden, soccer

Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl plays for Chelsea and has been named the country's goalkeeper of the year five times, including both in 2014 and 2015. She married her wife, Sabine Willms, in 2011, and their son was born in 2014. (Getty)

<p>Liukkonen, a Finnish swimmer, competed in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2012 Olympics. He came out as gay in early February 2012 to highlight the issue ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, becoming one of the first openly gay elite athletes in Finland. (Getty) </p>
Ari-Pekka Liukkonen – Finland, swimming

Liukkonen, a Finnish swimmer, competed in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2012 Olympics. He came out as gay in early February 2012 to highlight the issue ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, becoming one of the first openly gay elite athletes in Finland. (Getty)

<p>The former first-overall draft pick was part of the 2012 national team that captured gold in London and will be looking to add on to that international resume in Rio. McCoughtry is a four-time WNBA all-star and also plays overseas in Turkey. She came out by posting an Instagram photo with her fiancée last spring. (Getty) </p>
Angel McCoughtry – USA, basketball

The former first-overall draft pick was part of the 2012 national team that captured gold in London and will be looking to add on to that international resume in Rio. McCoughtry is a four-time WNBA all-star and also plays overseas in Turkey. She came out by posting an Instagram photo with her fiancée last spring. (Getty)

<p>This will be Nee's first Olympics - not that she hasn't gotten close before. She qualified for a spot at the Beijing 2008 Games but dislocated her shoulder during the test event for the course in China. Then, in 2012, she nearly made the squad before losing a tiebreaker for the final spot. She married her wife less than a year ago. (Getty) </p>
Ashley Nee – USA, kayak

This will be Nee's first Olympics - not that she hasn't gotten close before. She qualified for a spot at the Beijing 2008 Games but dislocated her shoulder during the test event for the course in China. Then, in 2012, she nearly made the squad before losing a tiebreaker for the final spot. She married her wife less than a year ago. (Getty)

<p>A native Texan, Potter has conquered plenty of things in her life - cancer being one of them. With a new challenge ahead of her in Rio, she is ready to win once again. She and her wife have been married for three years. (Getty) </p>
Jillion Potter – USA, rugby

A native Texan, Potter has conquered plenty of things in her life - cancer being one of them. With a new challenge ahead of her in Rio, she is ready to win once again. She and her wife have been married for three years. (Getty)

<p>One of the most well-known players on the U.S. Women's National Team, Rapinoe will be competing in her second Olympics. She came out publicly in 2012 and is engaged to American singer Sera Cahoone. Rapinoe is a vocal advocate for a number of LGBT organizations. (Getty) </p>
Megan Rapinoe – USA, soccer

One of the most well-known players on the U.S. Women's National Team, Rapinoe will be competing in her second Olympics. She came out publicly in 2012 and is engaged to American singer Sera Cahoone. Rapinoe is a vocal advocate for a number of LGBT organizations. (Getty)

<p>Helen (left) and Kate (right) Richardson-Walsh are teammates who got married in 2013. In 2012, the two helped Team Great Britain to its first Olympic hockey medal in two decades with a bronze finish. (Getty) </p>
Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh – Great Britain, field hockey

Helen (left) and Kate (right) Richardson-Walsh are teammates who got married in 2013. In 2012, the two helped Team Great Britain to its first Olympic hockey medal in two decades with a bronze finish. (Getty)

<p>Semenya is one of the most controversial Olympic figures. Critics charge that her success is a result of her hyperandrogenism, a medical condition in which someone displays excessive androgenic hormone levels. Others argue that those claims are not supported by research. (Getty) </p>
Caster Semenya – South Africa, track and field

Semenya is one of the most controversial Olympic figures. Critics charge that her success is a result of her hyperandrogenism, a medical condition in which someone displays excessive androgenic hormone levels. Others argue that those claims are not supported by research. (Getty)

<p>Viljoen, a javelin thrower, will be competing in her fourth Olympics this summer. She failed to reach either the 2004 or 2008 finals and came just shy of medaling at the 2012 Games with a fourth-place finish. She said she was ostracised by friends and family after coming out in 2012. (Getty) </p>
Sunette Viljoen – South Africa, track and field

Viljoen, a javelin thrower, will be competing in her fourth Olympics this summer. She failed to reach either the 2004 or 2008 finals and came just shy of medaling at the 2012 Games with a fourth-place finish. She said she was ostracised by friends and family after coming out in 2012. (Getty)

<p>Since starting on the international stage as a 17-year-old in 2005, Wammes has been one of the top Dutch gymnasts. Injuries, though, have limited him and Rio will be his first time at the Olympics. He came out as gay in 2011. (Getty) </p>
Jeffrey Wammes – Netherlands, gymnastics

Since starting on the international stage as a 17-year-old in 2005, Wammes has been one of the top Dutch gymnasts. Injuries, though, have limited him and Rio will be his first time at the Olympics. He came out as gay in 2011. (Getty)

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