Footballer Guaranteed To Become First Trans And Non-Binary Athlete To Win Olympic Medal

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 03 Aug 2021 13:15
Footballer Guaranteed To Become First Trans And Non-Binary Athlete To Win Olympic MedalPA/Quinn/Instagram

Canadian footballer Quinn is set to become the first openly transgender athlete to take part in the Olympics and win a medal.

When the athlete takes part in the final against Sweden on Friday, August 6, the 25-year-old midfielder from Toronto will become the first-ever trans and non-binary person to win a medal, with the guarantee of bringing home either silver or gold.


Quinn, who only goes by one name, officially became the first openly transgender Olympic athlete after taking part in the Canadian women’s football team’s match against Japan, which ended 1-1, on July 21.

Canadian nonbinary footballer QuinnPA Images

They wrote in an Instagram post following the game:

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 this world.


Quinn represented Canada in the 2016 Olympics, but only came out as transgender last year.

While Quinn felt proud to be part of the Olympics, they also said they’re ‘aware of the realities’ many trans athletes face.

They continued in the post, ‘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. 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,’ Quinn added.

Tokyo 2020 has also seen two other trans athletes take part in the games: New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard and American BMX cyclist Chelsea Wolfe.

Laurel Hubbard (PA Images)PA Images

Hubbard made history yesterday, August 2, when she stepped onto the stage at Tokyo 2020 to take part in the women’s +87kg category. The event saw her Olympic journey come to an end, however, after she failed to complete any of her three snatch lifts.


While Hubbard didn’t take home a medal, many people argued that her being one of the first transgender athletes to compete in the Olympics is more historic than beating her competitors.

One Olympic-viewer wrote on Twitter, ‘Ah bad luck Laurel Hubbard. But the point is, you made history by being a trans athlete at the Olympics. That is worth more than any medal.’

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, Canada, Football, Non-binary, Olympics, Tokyo 2020


  1. CBC

    Canada's Quinn to become 1st openly transgender, non-binary athlete to win Olympic medal