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Alexsenia Ralat

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Winter Olympics Gayer than Ever

This year’s Winter Olympics has proven itself to be a very gay event. Multiple out members of the LGBTQ community have been winning medals for their respective countries.

Legendary bisexual speed skater Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands was the first of the out olympians to medal. Wüst earned silver in the 3,000 meter and made history by winning gold in the 1,500 meter. The medal made her the first athlete from the Netherlands to win five gold medals, and the first to win four gold medals in four different Olympic Games, her first being in 2006 at the age of 19. Wüst has won the most gold medals so far out of all the out athletes in this year’s games.

Wüst was not the only out female participating in the 1,500 meter. American Brittany Bowe made fifth place in the competition, as well.

The Figure Skating Team Competition holds the title of being the first Winter Olympics event to include openly gay men. Canadian figure skater Eric Radford was the first out male Winter athlete to compete and win a gold medal in the games. Radford came in second with his partner Meagan Duhamel. The two came in behind Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov. Radford and Duhamel came back to win the free skate, earning Team Canada yet another gold medal.

America’s out figure skater, Adam Rippon, earned Bronze in the men’s freestyle part of the team figure skating event, with Team USA winning bronze overall. Rippon has gained media popularity due to his ongoing feud with Vice President Mike Pence. Pence, who has openly campaigned for harmful conversion therapy and is known for his homophobia, directly messaged Rippon on Twitter , “I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold.” This tweet came a few days after Pence’s staff called Rippon a liar after he told USA Today that he was not excited to meet Pence.

“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Rippon said. Rippon is part of a group of out athletes who have declined an invitation from the White House and Trump’s Administration.

“I won’t go because I don’t think somebody like me would be welcome there,” the gay Olympian previously stated. “I know what it’s like to go into a room and feel like you’re not wanted there,” said Rippon to BBC. Rippon previously made headlines after refusing to meet Pence before the games, after questioning whether Pence should be the one to lead the Olympic delegation.

Fellow out American Olympian, freeskier Gus Kenworthy, told The Advocate that while he was proud to visit the White House a few years ago, he would not be accepting an invitation from President Trump. “I was so incredibly honored to do that when Barack was president,” Kenworthy told The Advocate. “I have no interest in going now.”

So far, gay Olympians have been doing well, proving this year’s Winter Olympics to be a successful run for them. Out defender Emilia Ramboldt and the Swedish Ladies’ Hockey Team beat Japan 2-1 in the first Women’s game of 2018. Sweden also beat the Korean team 8-0.

In Ladies’ Normal Downhill, out Austrian skier Daniela Iraschko-Stolz came in sixth after jumping 99 meters. Iraschko-Stolz came back after having a serious injury in 2017 and has had surgeries on both knees since winning silver in Sochi.

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LGBTQ World News