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The Women of Summer: Lesbian and Bisexual Olympians

The Women of Summer: Lesbian and Bisexual Olympians

With the Olympic opening ceremony fast approaching, we take a look at some of our favorite lesbian and bisexual medalists from Olympics past.

Natasha Kai, soccer, USA

With a body full of tattoos and a devilish smirk, there's nothing about Natasha Kai that says she plays it safe. Kai was part of the 2008 gold medal winning team in Beijing, beating out Brazil. That year was her best scoring year on the national team, with her starting 20 out of 28 games, and leading the team with 15 goals.

 

Vicky Galindo and Lauren Lappin, softball, USA

The women's national softball team took home the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It’s truly a shame that softball is no longer an Olympic sport (though there is some hope that it may return in 2016), but Galindo, Lappin, and several other softball players have decided to move on from Team USA by joining the National Pro Fastpitch last year.

 

Camilla Andersen, Denmark and Mia Hundvin, Norway, handball

Andersen and Hundvin were married, and the pair was the first couple to compete against each other in Olympic competition in 2000 at the Sydney games. Denmark walked away with the gold medal, while Hundvin won the game winning point against Korea to capture the bronze medal. Andersen and Hundvin have since divorced.

 

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Judith Arndt, Germany, cycling

Arndt won the silver medal at the 2004 games in Athens but made headlines by flipping the bird at the German Cycling Federation as she crossed the finish line. The federation did not choose her girlfriend, Petra Rossner, for the team. Had she been on the team, Rossner may have also captured the gold medal for Germany.

 

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, track and field, USA

Babe Didrickson was one of the best athletes in American history, period. Her skill defied gender lines not only in track and field, but also in golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, cycling, and any other sport she could master. She excelled at baseball as a young woman (hence the name Babe), but quickly adapted to other sports as she was introduced to them. Less than two years after seeing her first track meet, Zaharias was competing at the 1932 Olympics. She qualified for five events, but this being 1932, as a woman she was only allowed to compete in three events, the javelin, 80-meter hurdles, and high jump, where she earned two gold and one silver medal. Though Zaharias later married a professional wrestler, George Zaharias, her sexual orientation seemed to be a quiet issue. Some suspect that her friend Betty Dodd was really the love of her life.

 

Sheryl Swoopes, basketball

Swoopes, one of the most successful professional women's basketball players of all time, played for the 1996 and 2000 gold medal winning teams. She came out in 2005, and at the time was romantically involved with Alisa "Scottie" Scott, a former Houston Comets assistant coach. Six years later, she announced that she was then engaged to Chris Unclesho. Nonetheless, Swoopes was the first woman to have a Nike basketball shoe named after her (the Air Swoopes) and is still playing in the WNBA for the Tulsa Shock.

 

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Michelle Garcia