Greg Louganis, who won four Olympic
gold medals in diving, believes it's easier for Olympians competing
in an individual sport to come out gay.
Twenty-one openly gay athletes are
competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place over the next two
weeks in London. At the 2004 games held in Athens, 11 openly gay
athletes competed. Four years later, in Beijing, the number was 10.
Greg Louganis told gay blog
Outsports.com that many athletes are reluctant to come out of the
“All I can do is relate to my own
Louganis, who came out gay after retiring. “I was out to my
friends and my family. It was just my policy not to discuss my
sexuality to members of the media. I wanted my participation in the
sport to be about the sport. I didn't want it to be about being the
“Today, we have more positive images
in media when it comes to sexuality and representation – we're just
regular people – so I think it's a more positive atmosphere. When
I was on my book tour in '95, I had a lot of people come up to me and
say they were gay and they weren't out and they were in a team sport.
It's tough if you're in a team sport, because you're relying on your
team. I think it's a little easier when you're talking about an
individual sport because it's just you out there and you're pretty
According to Outsports.com, openly gay
athletes include Marilyn Agliotti (Netherlands, field hockey); Judith
Arndt (Germany, cycling); Seimone Augustus (United States,
basketball); Natalie Cook (Australia, beach volleyball); Lisa
Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer); Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel
(Netherlands, field hockey); Imke Duplitzer (Germany, fencing);
Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian); Jessica Harrison (France,
triathlon); Carl Hester (Britain, equestrian); Alexandra Lacrabère
(France, handball); Jessica Landström (Sweden, soccer); Hedvig
Lindahl (Sweden, soccer); Matthew Mitcham (Australia, diving);
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey); Carole Péon (France,
triathlon); Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball); Megan Rapinoe (United
States soccer); Lisa Raymond (United States, doubles tennis); Rikke
Skov (Denmark, handball); Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany, cycling).
Mitcham came out before competing in 2008, while Megan
Rapinoe only recently discussed her sexual orientation.
Olympic diver & boyfriend smooch after win.)