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LGBTQ+ representation in sports is growing as athletes fight back against discrimination and stigma.

A record-setting 168 members of the LGBTQ+ community in Tokyo more than doubled the 2016 count and totals more openly LGBTQ+ athletes than all other Summer Olympics combined, representing 27 countries in 26 sports.

The U.S. leads the way with 30 openly LGBTQ+ athletes, followed by Canada and Britain, with 16 and 15 competitors respectively, with soccer featuring the most openly LGBTQ+ athletes.

“Millions of people around the world will be watching the Tokyo Olympics. For viewers who are LGBTQ, particularly those who face stigma around their identities, seeing openly LGBTQ athletes from around the world will be inspirational,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Garden State Equality.

The count, compiled with help from LGBTQ+ historian Tony Scupham-Bilton, doesn't include Paralympians or LGBTQ+ coaches and trainers and could be even higher, considering that it only includes those athletes who have publicly identified themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Source: The Hill