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For the first time, Canada’s women’s soccer team has won gold at the Olympic Games.
Canada’s victory in penalty kicks against Sweden was monumental in more ways than one. In addition to the country winning its first title at a major international women’s soccer tournament, one of Canada’s players — midfielder Quinn — made history as the first out transgender and nonbinary person to win an Olympic medal of any color.
Quinn — who came out as trans and nonbinary in September of last year — started for Bev Priestman’s squad in Friday’s gold-medal match and throughout the Olympic tournament in Japan. And as they collected their gold medal and stood atop the podium at International Stadium Yokohama Friday night, the 25-year-old stood for not only themself but also for trans and nonbinary people around the world who have sought inclusion in sports and beyond.
Surely that fact wasn’t lost on Megan Rapinoe, the pink-haired US Women’s National Team superstar who is gay and has long spoken out on behalf of the entire LGBTQ+ community.
So after she collected her own medal — a bronze, thanks to Canada’s upset of the USWNT in Monday’s semifinal — the 36-year-old American forward walked over to Quinn and expressed her congratulations.
Rapinoe — who plays alongside Quinn for National Women’s Soccer League club OL Reign — has often celebrated Quinn as a player and a person. She applauded them on their Instagram story when they first came out publicly and again on Friday as they made history at the Olympics.
In March of this year, Rapinoe told Insider that Quinn is a great teammate and fantastic player. And when it comes to their gender identity in the locker room and on the field, “nobody cares.”
“[Quinn is] there to do their job and to play a sport that they love and to be their full selves and to be accepted for that,” Rapinoe said, then delivered a message for the lawmakers in the United States who have drafted transphobic bills: “You’re trying to speak on behalf of a lot of people that don’t feel that way and don’t feel threatened.”
“It’s quite the opposite,” Rapinoe added. “It’s been actually really dope being on Quinn’s team for the last couple of years and to see their transformation. To see someone just living their full life the way that they want to, I always feel like is really inspiring and beautiful.”