Of the more than 12,000 athletes competing in the Summer Olympics in London this month, a few have come out as being openly gay or lesbian. Here’s who we’ll be cheering for when the games kick off this week.
This native South African has been playing field hockey for the Netherlands after moving to Holland. The 33-year-old was a member of the 2008 Olympic gold medal team. She’s also been outspoken about being gay in sports.
Augustus is a WNBA champ for Minnesota Lynx for which she’s won many awards, including MVP and three All Stars. The 28-year-old basketballer rose to fame when she led her college team at LSU to three consecutive Final Fours. She’s engaged to marry LaTaya Varner and likes to play golf, volleyball and football.
A cyclist from Germany, Arndt turns 36 next week. The two-time Olympian took home both a bronze in 2000 and a silver in 2004, as has won many international cycling competitions. She’s been with her partner Petra Rossner (also a cyclist) for more than 15 years.
Out since 2008, Dahlkvist plays soccer for Sweden as a midfielder. She also played on the 2011 World Cup team. The 25-year-old is the daughter of former professional footballer Sven Dahlkvists who competed almost 40 times for Sweden in the games.
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel
This 25-year-old plays field hockey for the Netherlands, and it’s her first time at the Olympics. She’s currently a student who’s studying physiotherapy in Utrecht. Her younger sister Daniek has also played for the Dutch hockey team.
Duplitzer (whose nickname is Ice Face) won a silver at the 2004 Olympics for fencing. The German soldier, 37, is also a member of the Women’s Epee fencing team. She also enjoys diving, cooking and motorcycling.
This 42-year-old competes in dressage with his horse Moorlands Totilas – considered to be among the best in the world. He’s already won three gold medals in the 2012 World Championships. He lives with his longtime partner and fellow equestrian Hans Peter Minderhound in the Netherlands.
A French triathlete, Harrison is originally from England. The 35-year-old came in 12th at the Beijing Olympics and she’s more than a little famous for dating fellow athlete Carole Peon. Her maternal grandfather was a talented middle-distance runner and hockey player.
This native from Great Britain is an accomplished equestrian who took home gold in the 2011 European Dressage Championship. The 45-year-old grew up in rural France where the only mode of transportation were horses and donkeys, which is how he first learned to ride. He’s also written two books about dressage and competed in three Olympics.
This 25-year-old French handball player came out for the first time last year. She’s competing for the second time in the Olympics. She also enjoys music and motorbiking and is currently studying nursing.
This Swedish soccer star goes down in the record books for winning a goal against Columbia during the Women’s World Cup last year. This year is her first Olympics during which she’ll play forward.
Also a soccer start in Sweden, Lindahl is a goal keeper for the country’s professional women’s team. The 29-year-old helped take home the silver in 2003. She also plays football, snowboards and is studying animal behavior. Her father was also a famous footballer.
This Australian won gold at the 2008 Olympics for his diving. The 24-year-old has also competed internationally in trampolining for which he won in the 2001 World Junior Championships. He was also named the 2012 Australian Male Diver of the Year and admits one of his heroes is former out U.S. Olympic Greg Louganis.
This 33-year-old from the Netherlands is considered to be one of the most talented field hockey players in the world, having competed on the 2008 team that won gold. She was also named 2011 player of the year at the Champions Trophy tournament in Argentina.
This triathlete is competing in her second-ever Olympics. Peon hails from France, where she dated fellow Olympian Jessica Harrison.
Passoa, 28, plays handball for Brazil and is considered to be a top goal keeper. She’s also a noted professional athlete in France.
The darling of soccer in the U.S., Rapinoe is a member of the Women’s Soccer Team. She came out just this summer and admitted she’s been in a three-year relationship with another soccer player from Australia. The 27-year-old also sings and plays guitar.
Born in the U.S.A., Raymond’s won six Doubles Grand Slams and five Mixed Doubles Grand Slams in tennis. At 38, this right-hander’s currently a member of the number-one ranked pair in the world.
Another handball player, Skov hails from Denmark where she was a member of the 2004 Olympic team that won gold. The 31-year-old has received multiple international awards during her career.