Canadian soccer player Quinn to become first trans athlete to medal in Olympics

A day after weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual Olympic event, Canadian soccer star Quinn is poised to make more history for transgender athletes.

Quinn, who is transgender and non-binary, is set to become the first openly transgender athlete to win an Olympic medal when Canada faces Sweden in the women’s soccer gold medal match on Friday. The Canadians secured either gold or silver after edging the USWNT on Monday, 1-0.

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“(I’m) getting messages from young people saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before,” Quinn told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after Monday’s win. “Athletics is the most exciting part of life. … If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that’s my legacy and that’s what I’m here for.”

Although Quinn was a member of the 2016 Canadian women’s soccer team that captured a bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, they only came out as transgender in September.

Quinn played soccer collegiately at Duke and currently plays professional for the OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Quinn of Canada in action during the Women’s International Friendly match between Brazil and Canada.
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After becoming the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics earlier in the Games, Quinn took to Instagram to express their emotions.

“I feel optimistic for change,” Quinn wrote. “Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures and mindsets. Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over… and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”