Canadian soccer player Quinn made history on Friday becoming the first transgender, non-binary athlete to win an Olympic medal after the team won gold in Tokyo.
The women’s soccer team took gold over Sweden winning 3-2 in penalty kicks after being deadlocked at 1-1 through regular play and extra time.
The 25-year-old from Toronto joins others making headlines for inclusivity at the Tokyo games. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand is the first openly transgender Olympic weightlifter and Alana Smith, a non-binary skateboarder has represented the United States.
Quinn, a midfielder for the OL Reign in the American National Women’s Soccer League, came out in an Instagram post in 2020.
Quinn uses they/them pronouns and goes by only the one name. In an Instagram post last September, they wrote: “I want to be visible to queer folks who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago.”
Speaking to Global News prior to the gold-medal game, Marni Pana, an advocate and leader in the LGBTQ2 community, said it shouldn’t be a surprise that the first transgender and non-binary athlete to win a medal comes from Canada.
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“We have led a lot of the conversation around inclusion and protection for trans people around the world,” said Panas, who is a transgender athlete herself, having competed in the male and female category.
Panas hopes the visibility of trans athletes like Quinn will help change perception.
“Let’s talk about the amazing achievements. Gender is part of it, but this is an incredible achievement. So very proud of our Team Canada,” said Panas.
Canada sat 12th on the medal table after Friday with six gold, six silver and 10 bronze medals.
—With files from The Canadian Press