LGBT athletes coming out at Rio 2016

Tom Daley swimmer swimming

The visibility of LGBT athletes coming out at the Rio 2016 is seen as an advocacy strategy for human rights

While we are already familiar with the campaign and attitude of the openly gay athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, the Rio 2016 poses a similar concern. Online sportsbooks in UK report the statement of LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton, according to which there will be 41 openly LGBT athletes in Rio, which is the highest number of LGBT people competing on an Olympiad. However the concerns about how they will be treated in Brazil are raised with a similar worry as those in Russia two years ago.

Although the Sao Paolo pride is one of world’s biggest annual gay events, the index of protecting basic human rights in Brazil is on a pretty low level. As advocacy organization for LGBT rights Grupo Gay de Bahia claims, there is an average of one LGBT person killed per day and a huge number of cases of violation of their physical integrity.

Coming out of Olympic athletes and advocacy strategies

In a situation like this coming out becomes important act. Gus Kenworthy’s coming out case after Sochi is one example of the impact these acts might have as well as the decision of Barak Obama to include in the US delegation for the closing ceremony former openly gay athletes. According to the Outsports website, focused on LGBT related issues in sports, there will be around 500 LGBT athletes in Rio out of which only 41 are publicly out.

LGBT athletes Rio 2016

Over 500 LGTB athelets in Rio in 2016 (Photo: AnimalNewYork)

On the other side the biggest world sports events keep being organized by countries with a low human rights index. As sites dealing with internet betting in Brazil note, after the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the next World Cup will also be organized in Russia in 2018, followed by its 2022 edition in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is considered to be an illegal act.

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