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Here Are Just Some Of The Badass Queer Women Competing In Rio

Going for gold, out and proud.

Nearly double the number of out LGBT athletes will be competing in Rio as compared to the London 2012 games — and the majority of them will be queer women. Before the opening ceremonies kick off on August 5, get to know a few of the extraordinary athletes competing out and proud.

1. Nicola Adams, Great Britain

After taking home the gold at the London 2012 games, the 33 year old from Leeds became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title.

Boxing since the age of 13, Adams is also the current reigning World, Commonwealth Games, and European Games champion of her division. She's headed to defend her title in Rio along with her new puppy aptly named "Rio".

After coming out publicly as bisexual, she topped The Independent's Pink List for LGBT advocates.

“I get tweets and messages all the time saying, 'by seeing you coming out it has helped me come out as well,' and I think I was just being myself,” she told HuffPost UK of her coming out experience.

Follow her on snapchat (@nicolaadamsmbe) to get all the behind-the-scenes Rio action during her Olympic journey.

2. Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, Great Britain

In her fourth Olympic appearance, Kate will lead a squad of nineteen women to Rio as captain of Great Britain's field hockey team — including her wife.

Kate and Helen tied the knot in 2013, and both subsequently hyphenated their last names. Although they've only been married for the past three years, the duo have been teammates for over a decade. They took home the bronze medal together at London 2012.

Helen recently told The Daily Mail that as a couple, they do try to keep their personal and professional lives separate. "We do talk about hockey at home, we’re both massively passionate about making the squad as good as it can be but we’re trying to get better at not doing that," she said.

If the couple manages to take home the gold it would be a first, not only for them, but for the entire Great Britain field hockey team.

3. Larissa França, Brazil

The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2011 World Champion will have home court (well, sand) advantage at the Rio games. As the all-time leader of women's beach volleyball titles, there is little doubt she's one to watch.

She will be competing alongside Talita Antunes at the 2016 games, fresh off their 2015 FIVB World Tour victory.

França is married to Brazilian beach player Liliane Maestrini, coming out publicly in July of 2013, the same year same-sex marriage was legalized in Brazil.

4. Megan Rapinoe, USA

Fresh off a recent ACL injury, it's not clear how much Team USA can depend one one of their most talented and loved players in Rio — the sixth Olympic games to feature women's soccer.

The U.S. Women's team has the oppurtunity to be the first reigning World Cup champion to also take home Olympic gold. The odds are in their favor, as they've come out on top in four of their last five Olympic appearances.

Rapinoe, who came out in 2012, got engaged to her girlfriend, singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone, last year. She is also helping lead the fight for equal pay, alongside several of her teammates, in the women's game.

She's the first (and only) player to score from a corner during an Olympic game. Fingers crossed we get to see that again.

5. Seimone Augustus, USA

The 32-year-old star of the Minnesota Lynx is a five-time all-star and 2014 Basketball World Champion — not to mention a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Augustus, one of the most dominant players in the WNBA, has always been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage. She tied the knot with her wife, LaTaya Varner, in Hawaii in 2015.

"I think part of falling in love is finding someone who can just deal with you — who loves you because of your isms, not despite them," the athlete wrote in an essay for The Players’ Tribune. "I understood LaTaya pretty quickly because I had a 30-year head start with my dad. They’re a lot alike — both Geminis."

If Augustus and her team can snag gold, it will be the team's sixth consecutive victory in the Olympic arena.

6. Angel McCoughtry, USA

Eastern Conference All-Star Angel McCoughtry is easily recognizable as #35 on the Atlanta Dream, but this year in Rio she hopes to help lead Team USA to their sixth straight gold medal.

This will be the 29-year-old's second consecutive Olympic Games. McCoughtry came out on Instagram last year and is currently engaged to her girlfriend, Brande Elise.

"I was never comfortable with myself, and I think that was a big part of my frustrations in life," McCoughtry told ESPN after coming publicly. "But when I met Elise, she really helped me to just be who I am and love myself. I came out."

7. Alexandra Lacrabère, France

If you need proof that handball is a full-on contact sport, look no further — Lacrabére is one of the top player's on the French women's national team.

The 29-year-old athlete, making her second Olympic appearance in Rio, is open about her sexuality, coming out in Hand Action magazine before the 2012 London Olympics.

Seriously though, you should tune into handball.

8. Ashley Nee, USA

After taking home a second place finish in the Slalom Olympic team trails this past May, Nee is headed for Rio to compete in the women's single kayak (K1) event.

The 27-year-old Maryland native qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but dislocated her shoulder while attempting to complete a test course in China. Her wife, Ashley McEwan, was the person who pushed her to get back out and train again. The couple tied the knot this past October on the Potomac River, where Nee first learned how to paddle.

"[My wife] convinced me that I chasing my Olympic dream was still possible and still important to me," Nee told Athlete Ally. "In 2010, we moved back to our home state of Maryland and I started to make my come back."

9. Nadine Müller, Germany

The German discus pro has been redefining what it means to "throw like a girl" since she was eighteen years old. She has plenty of achievements to her name — but not yet an Olympic medal.

She married her wife on New Year's Eve in 2013, announcing the happy news on Facebook stating she didn't want "to hide any longer."


10. Hedvig Lindahl, Nilla Fischer, and Lisa Dahlkvist of Sweden

Sweden's women's soccer squad has three out athletes headed to Rio, plus head coach Pia Sundhage. The team has never taken home an Olympic medal and will face South Africa in their first Olympic game on August 3.

One of Sweden's most experienced goalies, 33-year-old Lindahl, has appeared on both the World Cup and Olympic stage previously. With her wife and son cheering her on, this year should be a cake walk.

Formerly the club captain of LdB FC Malmö, Fischer plays with VfL Wolfsburg currently. The footballer was named Sweden’s LGBT Person Of The Year in 2014.

She married her partner in 2013.

When she's not on the field, Dahlkvist, who came out in 2008, has her hands full with her daughter, Penny, and wife, Jessica Danielsson.

Midfielder Lisa Dahlkvist got her first taste of the Olympics in 2012, but Sweden was knocked out of the running. Soccer runs in her blood, as her father, Sven “Dala” Dahlkvist, also played for Sweden.

11. Marilyn Agliotti, Maartje Paumen, and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel of the Netherlands

The Netherlands' national field hockey team is dominant in every sense of the word. The reigning world champions have three gold, three bronze, and one silver Olympic medal already as they head to Rio.

Although Agliotti is a South African native, she joined the ladies in orange after moving to the Netherlands in 2001. The field hockey veteran helped take home the gold in the 2008 and 2012 summer games.

The 37-year-old spoke out for tolerance and acceptance in athletic competition after coming out publicly in 2011.

Maartje Paumen was another integral part of the Netherland's 2008 and 2012 gold medal victories. The midfielder was also named Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012.

Currently the top Olympic scorer for women's field hockey, this team captain is a force to be reckoned with and one to watch.

Carlien Dirkse helped lead the Netherlands to gold at London 2012 and another victory is more than expected from the top-ranked Dutch squad.

Heuvel's Instagram is filled with a lot of team pride, plus truly adorable photos of her girlfriend.

12. Katie Duncan, New Zealand

When Duncan isn't representing New Zealand on an international level, she's playing midfield for FC Zürich. She's married to fellow Kiwi footballer Priscilla Duncan.

New Zealand's Football Ferns have never taken home an Olympic medal.

Before heading to Rio for her third Olympic appearance, Duncan shaved her head to raise money for the True Colours Children's Health Trust.

So my wife is pretty amazing. She lost her hair today but lost a lot more 20yrs ago: https://t.co/9gGWYhdr2r #proud

13. Michelle Heyman, Australia

The 28-year-old Matilda striker has a Golden Boot and Player Of the Year (in the W-League) already on her shelf, but this will be her very first Olympic appearance — and the Australian squad's first appearance since the 2004 Games in Athens.

Heyman, who has always been "out and proud," plans on getting some Olympic rings inked on her body following the games.

So far, it seems Brazil is treating her well.

View for the next couple of weeks 👌🏽 #Fortelaza #Brazil #olympics #matildas #DreamsComeTrue

14. Mayssa Pessoa, Brazil

The Brazilian handball goalkeeper, who plays for ŽRK Vardar, during the regular season, will make her second Olympic appearance in Rio.

The goalie came out publicly as bisexual for the first time in 2012. She is currently engaged to Canadian model Nikki Shumaker.

Handball is a high-scoring game, so the pressure is constantly on the goalkeeper. See Pessoa in action here:

View this video on YouTube


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