Sunday, 3 April 2016

Olympic Alphabet : L is for ...

London 2012

With the Rio Olympics rapidly approaching I thought it might be an idea to look back at the previous summer games of London 2012. Specifically, I want to acknowledge the vast wealth of talent and expertise that members of the lgbt community contributed to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Much more information has been revealed about these games, and more athletes have come out as lgbt. The following information gives the most complete record of lgbt participation at London 2012. When I began compiling this list for today I didn’t realise just how large it would be.
Let’s begin with sport and a list of the lgbt athletes known as of today’s date. Names given in capitals are of athletes who were out at the Olympic (Paralympics further below). The other names are of athletes who came out publicly afterwards (though they may have been out to many in their sport, family and friends).
MARILYN AGLIOTTI (Netherlands) hockey
JUDITH ARDNT (Germany) cycling
NATALIE COOK (Australia) beach volleyball
Rose Cossar (Canada) gymnastics
LISA DAHLKVIST (Sweden) football
Tom Daley (GB) diving
Casey Dellacqua (Australia) tennis
IMKE DUPLITZER (Germany) fencing
Nilla Fischer (Sweden) football
Amina Fonua (Tonga) swimming
Larissa França (Brazil) beach volleyball
EDWARD GALL (Netherlands) equestrianism
JESSICA HARRISON (France) triathlon
CARL HESTER (GB) equestrianism
Katie Hoyle (Duncan) (New Zealand) football
KAREN HULTZER (South Africa) archery
NIENKE KINGMA (Netherlands) rowing
KIM LAMMERS (Netherlands) hockey
Malin Levenstad (Sweden) football
HEDWIG LINDAHL (Sweden) football
Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland) swimming
Robbie Manson (New Zealand) rowing
Angel McCoughtry (USA) basketball
Erin McLeod (Canada) football
MATTHEW MITCHAM (Australia) diving
PORTIA MODISE (South Africa) football
Nadine Müller (Germany) athletics
MAARTJE PAUMEN (Netherlands) hockey
CAROLE PÉON (France) triathlon
MAYSSA PESSOA (Brazil) handball
Helen Richardson (-Walsh) (GB) hockey
Caroline Seger (Sweden) football
CASTER SEMENYA (South Africa) athletics
RIKKE SKOV (Denmark) handball
CASEY STONEY (GB) football
Beth Storry (GB) hockey
INA-YOKO TEUTENBERG (Germany) cycling
Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) cycling
Kate (Richardson-) Walsh (GB) hockey
Abby Wambach (USA) football

There was also a handful of openly lgbt coaches and officials at the games:          
Scott Cranham (Canada) diving coach
Simon Latimer, diving judge
Greg Louganis (USA) diving mentor
Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands) equestrian trainer
Hope Powell (GB) football coach
Andy Schmitz (USA) triathlon High Performance manager
Pia Sundhage (USA) football coach
Mark Tewksbury (Canada) Chef de Mission

At the Paralympic Games there were 4 openly lgbt athletes:
Jen Armbruster (USA) goalball
Claire Harvey (GB) sitting volleyball
Asya Miller (USA) goalball
Lee Pearson (GB) equestrian

Prior to the games the torch relay involved many lgbt relay runners, some open, some not:
John Amaechi, former basketball star; Co-director, LOCOG Diversity Board
Clare Balding, former jockey and broadcaster
Kevin (Sheldrake) Bartlett, rugby coach (Gay Games 1990 gold medallist)
Chris Basiurski, Chair, Gay Football Supporter's Network
Colin Bentley, nursing assistant on HIV ward; charity marathon runner
Tom Bosworth, race walker
Jason Bromley, self-care co-ordinator
Trevor Burchick, founder, Pride Games; UK representative on GLISA
Vicki Carter, swimming instructor (Gay Games 2006 gold medallist)
Adam Chojnacki, nurse, ran in memory of his late civil partner Matthew
Martin Cremin, Scottish swimming champion
Heather Davidson, student, volunteer lgbt charity worker
Megan Harris, Lincoln City Women’s Football Club player
Mark Healey, founder of lgbt hate crime support charity
Peter Hellawell, Chair of Trustees, Positive action; charity marathon runner
Vincenzo Ianniello, Accreditation Co-ordinator, Olympic & Paralympic ceremonies
Vincent Jackson, charity fundraiser
Connor Laverty, student, lgbt charity volunteer; Welsh junior discus champion
Lorna McArdle, volunteer and past Chair of Reading Pride
Gideon Meade, founder, Brighton Lesbian and Gay Sports Society
Tara Mifflin, volunteer youth leader with Stonewall
Gavin Owen, volunteer, London and Brighton Prides; charity marathon runner
Colin Renshaw, volunteer support worker in lgbt community
Edward Roberts, junior research fellow, Cambridge; lgbt charity trustee
Jason Saw, head of lgbt mental health charity
Andy Stonehill-Brooks, founder of lgbt network charity
Tim Sullivan, Chair, Kings Cross Steelers, world's first gay rugby club.

There now follows a list of other openly lgbt people who have had some involvement in London 2012, from members of the organising committee (LOCOG) to Gamesmakers, volunteers and performers.
Andrew Amery, Head of Security, LOCOG
Pascal Anson, designer, British Airways Olympic livery
Giorgio Armani, fashion designer, uniform of the Italian Olympic team
Craig Beaumont, Dignitary Team Leader & Government Relations Manager
Daryl Beeton, aerial performer, Paralympic opening ceremony
Richard Chere, Training Venue Manager, Olympic hockey & Paralympic football
Miro Civin, aerial performer, Paralympic opening ceremony
Jackie Crozier, Communications Manager, Old Trafford (football venue)
Stephen Daldry, Executive Creative Producer, Olympic opening ceremony; Artistic Director, Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies
Priscilla Duncan, FIFA media officer, Olympic football competition
Stephen Frost, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, LOCOG
Adrian Hanstock, Commander, Olympic Transport Policing
Jonathan Harbourne, performer, Olympic Opening Ceremony (Pandemonium)
Bradley Hemmings, Co-Artistic Director, Paralympic opening ceremony
Jessie J, featured performer, Olympic closing ceremony
Delia Johnston, Paralympic Accreditation officer; Transgender Ambassador
Craig Jones, Programme Manager, London venues; founder London 2012 LGBT Network
Christopher Kane, fashion designer, Olympic closing ceremony (catwalk section)
London Gay Men’s Chorus, choir members, Paralympic opening ceremony
Emily Macaulay, Gamesmaker volunteer, ExCel Arena
Marius Maritz, Manager, Olympic Hospitality Centre, Olympic Park
Nicholas McCarthy, featured pianist, Paralympic opening ceremony
Sir Ian McKellen, main performer, Paralympic opening ceremony
Alexander McQueen (posthumously), fashion designer, Olympic closing ceremony (catwalk section)
George Michael, featured performer, Olympic closing ceremony
Richard Mould, Head of Procurement, LOCOG
Members of Out to Swim, performers, Olympic opening ceremony (Pandemonium)
Gareth Pugh, fashion designer, Olympic closing ceremony (Pet Shop Boys)
Hannah Quigley, performer, Olympic opening ceremony (Pandemonium)
Emy Ritt, transport organiser; Gay Games Co-President, 2006 silver medallist
Alastair Ruxton, Sport Competition Group Manager; Head of Legal Department
Jonathan Saunders, fashion designer, Olympic closing ceremony (catwalk section)
Neil Tennant, featured performer, Olympic closing ceremony (Pet Shop Boys)
Gareth Walker, choreographer, Olympic closing ceremony (Eric Idle section)

There were many more people involved in various official London 2012 Cultural events across the whole country, not to mention those involved in the original London 2012 bid. The fact that there were so many visible lgbt people involved in London 2012, and that LOCOG was the first (and, so far, the only) Olympic organising committee that made great efforts to appeal to and include the lgbt community (for example, producing 4 lgbt pin badges in their official collection, one is shown above) makes London 2012 the most lgbt-friendly Olympic games in history. What a stark contrast there is between London 2012 and its immediate successor, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

There may never be a more lgbt-friendly Olympics (or even, dare I say, “Gayer Olympics”) for a very long time to come.

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