As a woman of useless experience, it is actually illegal to ask me to explain what a “penalty-kick shootout” is. With that said, I would like to call attention to the Canadian women’s soccer team’s big win at the Olympics on Friday, defeating Sweden in what Sports Illustrated is calling “a dramatic penalty-kick shootout,” whatever the hell that is!!!!
The first-place finish gave Canada its sixth gold medal at the 2020 (and by that I mean “2020,” since this is all actually taking place in the year 2021, etc. etc.) Tokyo games and 23rd medal in total this summer. The win also made history thanks to mononymic teammate Quinn, who became the first openly trans and openly nonbinary athlete to win a gold medal at any Olympic Games in history, The Advocate reports.
“[I’m] getting messages from young people saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before,” they told CNN shortly after their win on Friday. “Athletics is the most exciting part of my life and it brings me the most joy. If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that’s my legacy and that’s what I’m here for.”
The 25-year-old midfielder, who previously helped the Canadian women’s soccer team win bronze at the 2016 Olympics but wasn’t publicly out at the time, is one of a handful of trans and nonbinary athletes competing in Japan this summer, NPR notes. Others include American skateboarder Alana Smith, weightlifter Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand, and American BMX alternate Chelsea Wolfe.
“First openly trans Olympian to compete,” Quinn wrote in an Instagram post last month as they reflected on that particular milestone. “I don’t know how to feel. I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world. I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets.”
“Mostly, I feel aware of the realities,” they continued. “Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over, and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”