Life

After Sochi, Rio Olympics shows support for LGBT rights and athletes

That’s as the International Olympic Committee intended too. After Sochi, the IOC required future Olympic host cities to abide by rules that forbid any kind of discrimination, including with regard to sexual orientation.

“It’s in the charter that we don’t accept any discrimination on grounds of race or religion and sexuality is now included in that. But this kind of takes it even further,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Tuesday. “It’s a celebration of that and certainly made me feel good this morning when I heard about the story. So it’s excellent, excellent news.”

Cerullo’s engagement quickly made global headlines given the stage on which it occurred. Enya appeared, gave a rather impassioned and emotional speech about how Cerullo is the love of her life, and the couple sealed the moment with a kiss.

“That certainly made her very happy,” said Brazil rugby player Rachel Kochhann, one of Cerullo’s teammates. “We felt this joy in our group.”

Outsports.com reported that there are at least 46 publicly known LGBT athletes in the Rio Games, the highest number of any Olympics. British diver Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the synchronized competition, with his fiance in the stands to cheer him on — and whatever buzz that created didn’t seem to overshadow the medal accomplishment whatsoever.

Daley came out in 2013 and said he’s never been happier.

“I’m at my most consistent,” Daley said. “I feel ready physically, psychologically, everything, so I’m really excited.”

Daley said the support he’s gotten has been empowering, and British racewalker Tom Bosworth can relate. When Bosworth revealed his sexuality publicly last year, he said he was blown away by the support from those who already knew and people he never met.

“It’s actually spurred me on,” Bosworth said. “It’s actually given me more motivation. … Now I feel like I’m doing it for even more people than before.”

For Cerullo and Enya, it was an Olympic moment they’ll never forget.

The stadium was largely empty when Enya walked onto the grass with a microphone, volunteers gathered around as she spoke about what Cerullo means to her. The “ring” that Enya gave Cerullo was a simple piece of ribbon.

Gold ribbon, that is. After all, it was at an Olympics.

“I wanted to show people,” Enya said, “that love wins.”

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