Olympic commentators misgender first openly non-binary athlete

“My goal coming into this was to be happy and be a visual representation for humans like me,” Alana Smith wrote after competing

Bevan Hurley
Wednesday 28 July 2021 16:58
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Alana Smith, the first openly non-binary athlete to compete at the Olympic Games, has been repeatedly misgendered by commentators while competing in the women’s skateboarding competition.

Smith was misgendered by callers from the BBC despite having their pronouns “they/them” written on their skateboard.

Online commenters called for an apology from the BBC.

“Alana Smith was constantly misgendered last night. An apology would be great,” wrote one person on Twitter.

BBC Sport reporter Tim Warwood responded to say while he hadn’t made the misgendered comments, the commentary team would “of course apologise to Alana”.

“If you don’t come across a skater that much then you rely on information provided to you by the event organiser,” Mr Warwood said on Twitter.

“Not saying it was missed out I’m sure it was there, but personally I didn’t see it, and the guys are back in Salford (in the United Kingdom) with limited resources.”

Smith, 20, sported a beaming smile throughout their run in the inaugural Olympic skateboarding event on Monday.

In an emotional post on Instagram after completing their run, Smith said they felt “happy to be alive”.

“My goal coming into this was to be happy and be a visual representation for humans like me,” they wrote.

“For the first time in my entire life, I’m proud of the person I’ve worked to become. I chose my happiness over medaling.

“Out of everything I’ve done, I wanted to walk out of this knowing I UNAPOLOGETICALLY was myself and was genuinely smiling. The feeling in my heart says I did that.”

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