Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy may be our gay Olympian baes, but they’re not the only out athletes who competed at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
As the Games come to a close, we’re highlighting the wins, losses, and memorable moments of this year’s record-breaking 15 out Olympians. Read on for the full rundown.
Ireen Wüst (Netherlands)ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
Wüst is the Netherlands’ most decorated Winter Olympian. At this year’s Games, the 31-year-old added another medal to her impressive tally, winning gold at the 1500-meter race. The win made her the first speed skater, male or female, to earn 10 Olympic medals—and the most decorated LGBT Olympian by far. Color us impressed!
Wüst is openly bisexual and in a relationship with fellow athlete Letitia de Jong.
Eric Radford (Canada)Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Radford made history this year as the world’s first openly gay male Winter Olympian to win gold: He and his pairs skating partner Meagan Duhamel skated their way to the top earlier this month. The two-time world champion duo skated to Adele’s “Hometown Glory.” (Radford also won bronze in a later run.)
Brittany Bowe (United States)Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Bowe, an American speed skater, almost didn’t leave Pyeongchang with a medal: She placed fourth and then fifth, twice. In her last race of the 2018 Games, though, the queer skater ousted Canada from the bronze spot—by an incredibly narrow margin of .45 seconds. The win was her first Olympic medal—and America’s first women’s speed skating medal since 2002.
Adam Rippon (United States)Harry How/Getty Images
By now, we don’t have to tell you who Rippon is: The out-and-proud figure skater broke ground as the first out gay male athlete to qualify for the Winter Games. He’s smart, sassy, and a vocal LGBT advocate, criticizing the Trump administration for its anti-LGBT policies.
This year, he won bronze for Team U.S.A. in the team skating event and ranked 10th in the men’s single skating competition.
Šárka Pančochová (Czech Republic)David Ramos/Getty Images
Pančochová, 27, is a Czech snowboarder who came out as gay in a 2017 interview with Outsports. She was “stoked” to go public about her sexuality. The 2018 Games were her third Winter Olympics. (At the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, she had one of the worst crashes of the competition, cracking open her helmet, but luckily wasn’t injured.)
This year, she didn’t walk away with any medals, but that didn’t squash her spirits: She’s reportedly BFFs with Dutch snowboarder and fellow out athlete Cheryl Maas.
Emilia Ramboldt (Sweden)
Gus Kenworthy (United States)David Ramos/Getty Images
Kenworthy, an American freestyler siker, came out as gay in a 2015 ESPN interview shortly after the 2014 Winter Games, where he won silver.
The out skier returned to the Games this year. He didn’t land on the podium, but his presence as one of America’s two openly gay male athletes was widely heralded as a victory for LGBT inclusion. NBC even aired a smooch between Kenworthy and his boyfriend. Plus, he became best buds with Rippon.
Barbara Jezeršek (Australia)Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Jezeršek hails from Slovenia, but she recently became a citizen of Australia and switched to compete for their Olympic team. This year, the champion cross-country skier made Australia’s best-ever time in a cross-country team ski with partner Jess Yeaton. Despite her record-breaking sprint, she didn’t place on the podium at Pyeongchang.
The 31-year-old has been out since the 2014 Games.
Sophie Vercruyssen (Belgium)
Vercruyssen, a Belgian bobsledder, is 26 years old—and only started bobsledding four years ago! Just two years later, she won silver in the sport at the European Championships, and this year, she qualified for the Games.
She and her bobsledding pairs partner An Vannieuwenhuyse ranked 13th in their league.
Cheryl Maas (Netherlands)
Is it the 90’s…. . Stoked that girls Big Air is a thing again and tomorrow the highest level will go down! Tune in at 10:00 local time (2:00 CET). . . #netherlands #snowboarding #freestyle #nederland #olympischespelen2018 #pyeongchang2018 #sport #roadtokorea #korea #teamnl #teamoranje #bigair #olympics #olympischespelen #dutch #snowboard #winterolympics #roadtopyeongchang #slopestyle #pyeongchang #olympics2018 #snowboardteamnl #snowboarden #snowlife #sendit #gobig #jumping
Maas, a Dutch snowboarder, is a two-time world champion snowboarder. Unfortunately, she didn’t place in the 2018 Games: Her final rank was 23rd in the women’s slopestyle ski. The loss hasn’t dulled her spirits, though. Maas tweeted about enjoying her time in South Korea as she waits for the closing ceremony.
The 33-year-old is married to retired Norwegian snowboarder Stine Brun Kjeldaas, and the two have two daughters, Lara and Mila. She was an outspoken critic of Russia’s anti-gay policies during the 2014 Sochi Games.
Simona Meiler (Switzerland)Al Bello/Getty Images
Meiler, a Swiss snowboarder, ranked 22nd in the women’s snowboard cross at this year’s Winter Games, her third Olympic romp. Her competing was a victory in and of itself, though: Meiler recovered from a life-shattering spinal fracture just two years prior. She’s spoken about her sexuality in interviews before.
Jorik Hendrickx (Belgium)Harry How/Getty Images
Hendrickx, a Belgian figure skater, came out as gay on February 1, 2018, just days before the Games. He was Belgium’s only male figure skater slated to compete. Alas, he didn’t end up on the podium (he placed 14th in men’s singles), but he knew his chances going in: “Above all, I want to perform well,” he told Zizo Belgium. “I have improved, but also my competitors. If my performance is good in itself, then I am satisfied.”
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria)Clive Mason/Getty Images
Belle Brockhoff (Australia)Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Brockhoff, a young Aussie snowboarded, competed in her second Olympics this year. Her qualification was remarkable, given the 25-year-old’s debilitating knee injury just months before the 2018 Games. She didn’t end up on the podium, but she was proud of her performance nonetheless. “I didn’t sign up for this sport for it to be easy,” she told reporters.
Brockhoff, who is openly gay, spoke out against Russia’s anti-gay laws leading up to the Games in Sochi.
Kim Meylemans (Belgium)
…even miracles take a little time! A year ago Whistler broke me mentally – Yesterday the scars healed for good! PODIUM on the fastest track of the world! Huuuuuge thank you to my amazing team: coaches & physios, family & amazing friends for pushing me to my limits, the endless support, helping me find myself & true happiness! This is a big personal victory & i couldn't have done it without each one of you! ❤ @rekords #lilbelgian #top6 #ibsfworldcup #fromcrashingtopodium #gotcha #nevergiveup #athlete #emotions #sliding2pc18 #personalvictory #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #❤ #personalbest #sportersbelevenmeer #sportvlaanderen #teambelgium #abkbank #vivaldis #vict