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The 2021 (er…2020?) Olympics are underway in Tokyo, and there are more out LGBTQ athletes vying for gold than in every previous Summer Olympics combined. That amounts to over 160 members of “Team LGBTQ” from around the world. Each day during the games, we’ll spotlight one of these inspiring athletes.
Markus Thormeyer is the Canadian competitive swimmer who specializes in freestyle and backstroke. Markus came out as gay in February 2020.
He penned a passionate Outsports essay describing how he came out to his teammates and how it changed their lives and competitive fortunes for the better. “One day, we were all hanging out and the topic of relationships came up in conversation,” Thormyer wrote. “This was my moment. I casually said that I had never been on a date with a guy before and I was kind of scared of it. That I’d probably be a nervous wreck and ruin it.” When his teammates responded no differently had the gender of his date been female and told him he’d be fine, he felt a huge sense of relief. “Knowing that I had such amazing teammates supporting me so strongly regardless of my sexual orientation was one of the best feelings in the world.”
Last year, we recognized Markus in our Out For Good series, which you can learn more about here.
Here’s Markus describing himself as an “all-around good time” in 2019:
Take a dive: