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Olympic Games

U.S. athletes speak about the significance of black and LGBTQ representation in the Olympics

Olympic athletes Ashleigh Johnson and Kristen Thomas oroudly take on the responsibility of representing the black and LGBTQ communities in the Olympics.


Ashleigh Johnson is a goalkeeper for the USA waterpolo team. She says she recognizes the importance and the heavy weight of representing black people in the Olympic Games. In 2016, Johnson won the gold with the USA team in Rio.

"I've realized my role in this sport, my role in aquatics, my role in these games is going to be someone that represents something that's so much bigger than me,” Johnson told reporters.

Representation matters in the Olympic Games

Kristen Thomas, Rugby Sevens player for Team USA, recognized the importance of LGBTQ representation in the Olympics, especially for young people. She says she is proud to take on the responsibility.

In this year’s Olympics, there are over 160 openly LGBTQ athletes competing. This is also the first year we’ve ever seen two flagbearers, a male and female, for each country. This is he Olympics’ most inclusive year so far.


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