Olympic swimmer Rachele Bruni has won silver in the 10km marathon, and she decided to come out by dedicating the medal to her supportive girlfriend.
Thanking her ‘beloved’, Diletta Faina, who had accompanied Bruni to Rio, after her second place finish.
‘I dedicate his victory to my family, my coach and my beloved, who have followed and supported me,’ Bruni said.
When people questioned who her ‘beloved’ was, Bruni spoke to reporters that it was indeed in reference to her girlfriend.
‘I’ve always lived naturally, without problems,’ she added.
‘I’ve never done a big coming out. Undoubtedly there are people who have too many prejudices, but I live peacefully. I do not think about the prejudices, I live for myself, for my passion for swimming and for the people who love me.’
This is the swimmer’s first Olympic medal, and she is the only out LGBTI Olympian in Italy.
This means there is a record 51 openly LGBTI athletes competing in the Rio Olympics.