Brittney Griner’s basketball skills took her to the top of her sport, helping her college team win a national championship at Baylor and becoming the No. 1 pick of the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA draft.
But as a gay woman, she also felt burdened by a policy written into the student handbook at her private Christian university, which banned homosexual behavior and advocacy for LGBT issues. She hopes someday to help reverse the policy at Baylor, a school she still loves. “To break something, we have to bring it up, we have to get it out there, and eventually the topic will start to become more of a conversation,” she says.
Vibeke Skofterud is a cross-country skier from Norway. Her best showing in previous Olympics came in Salt Lake City in 2002 with an eighth place win in the 30km. In 2008, Skofterud came out in the Norwegian magazine See and Hear, telling them that she’d known she was gay for a while: “I have gone many rounds with myself, and it has taken a lot of time to figure out. I was not always honest with my own feelings.” She went on to say that she would live in a “dump site” as long as she could live with her girlfriend.