Team Canada's Quinn Makes History as First Nonbinary, Transgender Athlete to Win Olympic Gold

Team Sweden defender Hanna Glas (4) chases the ball with Team Canada midfielder Quinn (5) in the women's soccer gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium. (Reuters/Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports)

An athlete made history at the Tokyo Olympics Friday, not only by winning a gold medal but by being the first openly transgender athlete to do so. Quinn, 25, is a midfielder on Canada's women's soccer team, which beat Sweden 3-2 in a penalty shootout.

Quinn, who uses only one name, played soccer for Duke University and now plays for the OL Reign professional women's soccer team, based in Tacoma, Washington. In 2020, this biologically female player came out on social media as nonbinary (neither male nor female, outside the binary gender norms laid out in Genesis 1:27) and transgender, revealing her preferred pronouns as they/them, People reports.

After Canada's women's team defeated the U.S. in the semifinals earlier in the week, Quinn reported receiving "messages from young people saying they've never seen a trans person in sports before."

"Athletics is the most exciting part of my life and it brings me the most joy," Quinn told CBC Sports. "If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that's my legacy and that's what I'm here for."

Quinn also made history earlier in the Tokyo Games as the first transgender, nonbinary person to compete in the Olympics. On July 22, the athlete posted to Instagram about the experience:

Quinn has previously won an Olympic medal—as part of Canada's bronze medal-winning squad at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016—but had not publicly come out as trans or nonbinary at the time, per Forbes.

Transgender athletes have been allowed to participate in the Olympics since 2004, with a record-breaking number of 182 openly LGBQT athletes competing at the Tokyo Games, per Outsports. Openly transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand, 43, a biological male competing in women's weightlifting, was the only athlete to drop out of Monday's competition after three straight failures.

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