Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (August 8, 2008)

Today, Aug. 8, 2008, the luckiest day in China, marks the official launch of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The world of sports, though stereotypically filled with dykes, is in actuality rather homophobic; there have rarely been more than a handful of openly gay and lesbian athletes in any Olympics. But this year, due to my unexpected obsession with the Olympics (I chalk it up to its location, which I spent years studying in grad school, and don’t get me started on the often inaccurate and even imperialist Western media coverage of China) — wait a sec, where was I?

Oh yeah: I have uncovered 10 — 10! — out lesbian/bisexual athletes from around the world for us to watch Aug. 8–24. By “out” I mean women who have said something on the record about their sexual orientation; sure, there’s plenty of gossip online about many, many female athletes, but these precious 10 (so far!) are the ones who have stepped up and said, “Yes, I am.” If I’ve missed someone, please let us know!

Vicky Galindo (USA, Softball)

Photo credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The 24-year-old second baseman just came out as bisexual in the Aug. 26th issue of the Advocate, where she also revealed that she is currently single. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she played on their softball team. Find out more about her here.

Lauren Lappin (USA, Softball)

Photo credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Image

Catcher Lauren Lappin, 24, told the Advocate that she credits teammate Galindo with inspiring her to come out herself. Lappin played softball at Stanford and was an alternate on the 2004 U.S. national team. Find out more about her here.

Natasha Kai (USA, Soccer)

Photo credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As Outsports just noted, the 24-year-old Hawaiian off-handedly came out in a June interview with when she mentioned breaking up with her girlfriend. She’s a forward on the U.S. women’s national team, and yes, she has 19 tattoos. Here’s her official bio.

Victoria “Vickan” Svensson (Sweden, Soccer)

Photo credit: Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images

The 31-year-old team captain and forward recently talked to Swedish newspaper Expressen about her sexual orientation (thanks to Bente for the link). This is Svensson’s third Olympics; you can visit her website here (in Swedish).

Rennae Stubbs (Australia, Tennis)

Photo credit: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Beijing will be the fourth Olympics for women’s doubles player Rennae Stubbs, 37. Being out isn’t new to her, either; in fact she used to date her former doubles partner, Lisa Raymond. In 2006 she told Australian newspaper The Age:

I always say to my friends, “Wouldn’t it be great if everybody who was gay said they were? If we said: February 21, or whatever, this is the coming out day. So, if you are, you have to come out to everybody you know.” It would be phenomenal. And it would be nice if everybody could just accept that it’s not a choice, this is who you are. … I don’t hide who I am any more. Everyone in the tennis world pretty much knows who’s gay and who’s not; the only reason I would like it spoken about publicly more is that I wish everybody would realise that, “See all those people you admire? Out of 10 of them, four are gay, and I just want you to know that your child can still idolise them.”

Read her official bio here.

Next page: Norway and Germany