The Canadian women’s soccer team won gold after playing in its first ever Olympic gold medal match at the Tokyo 2020 Games on Friday, a game that also marks the first time an openly transgender and nonbinary athlete has won a medal at the Olympic Games.
Quinn, who came out as transgender and nonbinary on social media last fall, won a gold medal on Friday when Canada beat Sweden in penalty shootouts.
The midfielder was the first openly transgender and nonbinary athlete to ever compete in the Olympics when they played in one of the first events of the Games in July.
After that match, Quinn said they felt “proud” seeing their name on the lineup but “sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth” and said they were “aware of the realities” of discrimination and bias trans women face.
Though Quinn has won an Olympic medal before—they were part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning squad at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016—they had not publicly come out as trans or nonbinary at the time.
Quinn was one of a number of openly trans and nonbinary athletes to qualify and compete in the Tokyo 2020 Games, including U.S. skateboarder Alana Smith and New Zealand Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.
“[I’m] getting messages from young people saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before,” Quinn told the CBC after beating the U.S. in the semi-final. “Athletics is the most exciting part of my life … If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that’s my legacy and that’s what I’m here for.”
Trans athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004, when Athens hosted the Games. For four Games—in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro—no openly trans athletes qualified to compete. The inclusion of openly trans competitors in Tokyo—especially Hubbard—sparked controversy and ignited fierce debate over fairness. While Olympic officials defended Hubbard’s participation, the International Olympic Committee said it plans to release new guidelines for transgender athletes within two months of the Games. These will be focused on safety, fairness and inclusion, the organization said.