SPORTY LESBIANS UNITE!
After last week’s Olympics coverage, several of you were kind enough to send us notes about other lesbian Olympic athletes around the world.
Unfortunately I must report that merely looking like a lesbian (and I mean that in the best way; I love girls who look like lesbians!) does not mean that someone is openly gay. And though some of the women you alerted us to certainly seem like sisters in the struggle (even going so far as to mention a "partner" in their bios), we can’t count them until they speak to someone in the media (feel free to contact us!) and confirm our suspicions.
Nevertheless, thanks to your tips, this week I have three more openly lesbian athletes to tell you about.
Tzipi Obziler (Israel, Tennis)
Photo credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
Several of you told us about Israel’s out tennis player Tzipi Obziler, 34, who has a child with her partner of 13 years, Hadas (Jewish Chronicle). Unfortunately Obziler did not advance in either singles or doubles tennis in Beijing, but it took a three-hour-long match against Ukraine to knock her out.
Carole Péon (France, Triathlon)
A French reader told us about the 29-year-old triathlete who will compete in Beijing on Aug. 17. She recently took home the silver medal at
the Kitzbühel BG Triathlon World Cup in Austria last month. Check out her official website, where you can see photos of her swimming, cycling and running, ’cause the triathlon kicks ass like that.
Fiona Pennie (U.K., Canoe/Kayak)
Photo credit: David Rogers/Getty Images
Several of you also told us about this 25-year-old British canoeist, who was recently profiled in a Telegraph article that mentioned her girlfriend, Gillian, a student nurse. Here’s Fiona’s official bio. But after missing a gate in the slalom course on Aug. 13, Fiona won’t be moving forward into the semifinals in Beijing (BBC).
Now, you might be surprised to learn that canoeing is an Olympic sport. But it’s not about lazily paddling down a river in the sunshine; apparently competitive canoe/kayak involves a lot of whitewater. Check out what Fiona had to get through just the other day:
Pennie competing in the canoe/kayak slalom event on Aug. 13 in Beijing
Photo credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
So adding in these additional three out athletes, we have 13 openly lesbian/bi women competing this year in the Olympics. It’s still a drop in the bucket, but eight more than in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Dare I ask for more? Of course I do. Come on out, ladies! The water’s nice, I promise.
Next page: Recapping week one of the Olympics