Rio 2016 has broken the record with the most LGBT athletes competing in the games.

In Beijing 2008, there were only 12 LGBT athletes competing, with just one openly gay man – Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who went on to win gold in the 10m platform, having received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history.

Eight years later, however, and there are 44 LGBT athletes competing in Rio, including 10 gay men and one married couple. This has doubled from the 23 openly LGBT athletes in London 2012.

The LGBT athletes come from 13 different countries, spanning 6 continents. It marks a massive step forward for equality in sports, and puts LGBT people on the world stage in front of nations with strong anti-LGBT laws.

The good people over at Outsports, along with and Olympic and LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton, have managed to put together an extentive list of the out and proud athletes competigin at the Games. Check out the names below, and be sure to visit Outsports for more info.

Nicola Adams (Great Britain, boxing)
Seimone Augustus (USA, basketball)
Tom Bosworth (Great Britain, race walk)
Dutee Chand (India, track & field)
Tom Daley (Great Britain, diving)
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)
Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)
Katie Duncan (New Zealand, soccer)
Nilla Fisher (Sweden, soccer)
Larissa França (Brazil, beach volleyball)
Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)
Kelly Griffin # (USA, rugby)
Brittney Griner (USA, basketball)
Carl Hester (Great Britain, equestrian)
Michelle Heyman (Australia, soccer)
Mélanie Henique (France, swimming)
Stephanie Labbe (Canada, soccer)
Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball)
Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)
Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland, swimming)
Robbie Manson (New Zealand, rowing)
Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands, equestrian)
Ian Matos (Brazil, diving)
Angel McCoughtry (USA, basketball)
Nadine Müller (Germany, discus)
Marie-Eve Nault (Canada, soccer)
Ashley Nee (USA, kayak whitewater slalom)
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)
Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)
Jillion Potter # (USA, rugby)
Megan Rapinoe (USA, soccer)
Helen Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
Kate Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
Carolina Seger (Sweden, soccer)
Caster Semenya (South Africa, track & field)
Martina Strut # (Germany, pole vault)
Melissa Tancredi (Canada, soccer)
Susannah Townsend (Great Britain, field hockey)
Sunette Stella Viljoen (South Africa, javelin)
Julia Vasconcelos (Brazil, taekowndo).
Jeffrey Wammes (Netherlands, gymnastics)
Spencer Wilton (Great Britain, equestrian)

The Rio Olympics opening ceremony will be broadcast from 11.40pm on BBC One tomorrow (August 5).

Words: Mark Richards

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