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Canada's Quinn becomes first openly transgender Olympian to win gold

Quinn became the first trans athlete to participate in an Olympics last week.

WASHINGTON — The Canadian women's soccer team took down Sweden in a penalty shootout to take home Olympic gold Friday. It was a historic moment for both the Canadian team and, in particular, one of its athletes. 

For the team, it was their first Olympic gold in more than 100 years. Their last gold came at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis (a Games that featured tug of war as one of its 18 sports), when the men's team took down the United States. Tokyo was the women's team's first gold medal.

But for Canadian midfielder Quinn, these Games were groundbreaking for another reason. 

On July 21, Quinn became the first openly transgender and nonbinary athlete to compete in an Olympic Games. Saturday, they became the first openly trans and nonbinary athlete to win an Olympic medal. It just so happened to be gold.

Quinn, who uses they/them pronouns, came out publicly on Instagram in September 2020, after living "as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years."

Quinn was one of two transgender athletes competing in Tokyo. Weightlifter Lauren Hubbard of New Zealand was unable to complete any of her first three lifts Monday, but her appearance was historic nonetheless.

Quinn appeared in all six of Canada's matches at the Olympics, logging more than 300 minutes on the field. 

"Olympic Champions! Did that really just happen," Quinn posted on Instagram after the win. 

“The Olympics is wild," they told the Associated Press after the win. "There’s games back-to-back-to-back, but it's been really incredible. This team has been working so hard together for so long. These are my best friends, my best mates, and so honestly, it's been a blast.”