Trans Athletes Breaking Down Barriers In Sports

Who are the most famous transgender athletes in sports? Trans athletes competing in collegiate and professional sports face difficult challenges simply getting the opportunity to play the sports they love. These brave trans athletes overcome obstacles everyday to compete at the highest level in their sports. They also face skeptics head on who question - do trans athletes have an advantage? Are trans athletes unfair?  - while proving the positive values of inclusion, sportsmanship, and fair play. So, who are the most famous trans athletes in the world right now? Which trans athletes should fans look out for to watch and support?

Olympic trans athlete Quinn became the first to medal and further earn a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. There are also trans athletes breaking records, like Lia Thomas and Iszac Henig, who have taken the Ivy League swimming competitions by storm. Two trans athletes in college sports, CeCé Telfer (track & field) and Braeden Abrahamsen (bowling) recently won national championships. 

Vote up your favorite trans athletes below! Then, be on the lookout for more trans athletes fans to watch and support, as athletes get added to the list!

Photo: thequinny5 / instagram

  • 1


    Photo: Jamie Smed / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    In 2021, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Quinn became the first out, transgender, non-binary athlete to compete at the Olympics, the first to medal, and the first to earn a gold medal.

    • Birthplace: Ontario, Canada
    • Profession: Soccer Player
  • Lia Thomas
    Photo: YouTube

    After competing on the men’s swimming team for three seasons, Lia Thomas broke women’s swimming school and conference records while competing on the Quakers’ women’s swimming team for the 2021-2022 year, in addition to winning the 2022 NCAA Division I women’s swimming national championships.

    • Birthplace: Austin, Texas
    • Profession: Swimmer
  • 3

    Layshia Clarendon

    Layshia Clarendon
    Photo: Lorie Shaull / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Clarendon is the first openly non-binary WNBA player, and the first active WNBA player to complete a top surgery.

    • Birthplace: San Bernadino, California
    • Profession: WNBA Player
  • 4

    Chelsea Wolfe

    Chelsea Wolfe
    Photo: Outsports

    Wolfe made history as the first transgender athlete to go to the Olympics as the American BMX rider was a reserve for Team USA. Wolfe qualified for the position after earning fifth place at the World Championships.

    • Birthplace: Lake Park, Florida
    • Profession: BMX Cyclist
  • 5

    Timothy LeDuc

    Timothy LeDuc
    Photo: Luu / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    LeDuc is the first openly gay skater to win the pairs title at the U.S. Championships and the first openly non-binary athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics in 2022.

    • Birthplace: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    • Profession: Pair Figure Skater
  • 6

    Iszac Henig

    Iszac Henig
    Photo: Yale

    Henig won the 2022 Ivy League Championship in the 50-yard freestyle.

    • Birthplace: Menlo Park, California
    • Profession: Swimmer