The 9 Queerest Moments at the 2020 Olympics

No matter how they performed, these stellar athletes from around the world all took home gold for Team LGBTQ+.

The long-awaited 2020 Olympics officially ended on Sunday (August 8), but we're still riding the high of following the queerest Games to date. According to Outsports, more than 180 openly LGBTQ+ athletes competed in Tokyo, Japan. That's more than double the amount of out Olympians who participated in the 2016 Games.

Below, read up on nine unforgettable moments involving out athletes from the 2020 Olympics.

Sue Bird's flagbearer status

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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 23: Flag bearers Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez of Team United States lead their team during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The out basketball star (and fiancée to fellow Olympic athlete Megan Rapinoe) was honored as one of two flagbearers for Team USA at the opening ceremony on July 23.

Tom Daley's first gold medal

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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Thomas Daley and Matthew Lee of Team Great Britain pose for photographers with their gold medals after winning the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

On July 26, the openly gay British diver and vocal LGBTQ+ advocate took home gold for the first time in his 13-year Olympic career. (He also knitted a tiny pouch for his medal, which is the most delightfully British thing we've ever seen.)

"I feel incredibly proud to say I'm a gay man and also an Olympic champion," Daley told reporters after medaling with his diving partner Matthew "Matty" Lee. "I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone, and that you can achieve anything."

Alana Smith's pronouns on their skateboard

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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 21: Alana Smith of Team United States practices on the skateboard street course ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 21, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Skateboarding is one of new sports at 2021 Olympics Summer Games . (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The nonbinary athlete was already making history by repping Team USA in skateboarding, a brand new Olympic sport, but they took things one step further by etching their pronouns onto their board. (As Vice reported, Smith was unfortunately misgendered in a broadcast from the Olympic Broadcasting Services, a company created by the Olympics to provide coverage for cable nets. A spokesperson for the company has since apologized.)

Erica Sullivan's silver medal — and heartfelt speech

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Silver medallist USA's Erica Sullivan poses on the podium after the final of the women's 1500m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 28, 2021. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The out swimmer for Team USA took home silver on July 27, but it was her heartfelt speech after medaling that really captured our attention.

"Just me getting to the podium, in Japan, as an Asian American woman taking silver in a historical women's event for the first time as someone who likes women and identifies as gay — it's so cool," Sullivan told reporters in Tokyo. "I'm multicultural. I'm queer. I'm a lot of minorities. That's what America is."

Nesthy Petecio's emotional dedication to "the LGBTQ community"


Silver medallist Philippines' Nesthy Petecio poses on the podium with her medal after the women's feather (54-57kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

After scoring a silver medal for the Philippines on August 3, the featherweight boxer used her platform to elevate the queer community.

"This win is for the LGBTQ community," an emotional Petecio told reporters in Tagalog, according a translation from ESPN. "Let’s go, fight!"

Laurel Hubbard's historic participation

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-TOKYO,JAPAN August 2, 2021: New Zealands Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender Olympian, smiles to the small crowd after failing to advance in the womens 87kg weightlifting final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The weightlifter from New Zealand made history as the first transgender woman to compete at the Games. She failed to advance in her weightlifting class on August 2 and didn't end up medaling, but that didn't stop her from smiling ear-to-ear.

Raven Saunders's bittersweet win


TOPSHOT - Second-placed USA's Raven Saunders gestures on the podium with her silver medal after competing the women's shot put event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

The out athlete won silver for Team USA in the women's shot put, but her victory was bittersweet: Saunders's mother passed away on August 3, just days after the 25-year-old Olympian medaled. Her mom was able to watch a broadcast of Saunders competing.

"I feel like the biggest takeaway from everything is that my mom was watching me," Saunders told reporters. "I’ve had so many people send me pictures and videos with her in it, with a smile bigger than I’ve ever seen on her face before."

Quinn's groundbreaking gold medal win

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Canada's midfielder Quinn warm up prior the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's final football match between Sweden and Canada at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama on August 6, 2021. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Tiziana FABI has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama] instead of [Olympic Stadium in Tokyo]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention a...

The 25-year-old midfielder for Canada's women's soccer team became the first openly nonbinary athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics. It was a major moment for Canada — and for trans and nonbinary athletes around the world, especially as their right to participate in sports continues to come under attack.

Gold medalists Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, the "greatest teammates" ever

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First placed USA's Sue Bird (R) and Diana Taurasi pose with their gold medals after the medal ceremony for the women's basketball competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on August 8, 2021. (Photo by Aris MESSINIS / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

That's five-time gold medalists Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi to you! On August 8, the all-star athletes took home gold for Team USA's women's basketball yet again.

"They are two of the greatest teammates in the history of sports," said UConn's Geno Auriemma, the basketball coach who first brought them together. "Even if you only used UConn, or only the Olympics, or only Europe. Throw in all three, and no one even comes close.

Bird also got a shout-out from her aforementioned fiancée on Instagram. "I am so proud of you @sbird10," wrote Megan Rapinoe. "As if I could love you any more. Congrats baby! 🥇"

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