As Winter Olympics approach, where are China’s gay athletes? Beijing 2022 set to be a barometer for Games’ progress

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01/31/2022

Before she became Belgium’s first Winter Olympian in the sport of skeleton, Kim Meylemans came out as gay. “Being true to myself, instead of hiding or changing who I am, improved my sport performance,” Meylemans told Out For The Win, a non-profit she serves that shares the stories of LGBT athletes. “Hiding your true colours takes a lot of energy and I decided to use my energy for my sport instead.” Meylemans will compete in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where she will be one of several out, or publicly LGBT, athletes taking part in February. Out athletes have been increasing in number over recent Olympic Games, according to figures compiled by the LGBT blog OutSports, indicating a gradual rise in the representation of sexual minorities. The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics featured 186 out athletes, almost triple the 56 at the 2016 Games in Rio, with 23 at the 2012 Games in London.

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