Nesthy Petecio Raises LGBT Flag After Silver Medal Win at Tokyo Olympics

Philippines' first openly LGBT Olympic medalist.
Photo/s: Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP

Nesthy Petecio on Tuesday made boxing history as the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal of any color in the traditionally male sport.

As she carried the boxing-obsessed nation's flag at the world's largest sporting event, she was also raising another: that of Pride.

"Para rin po sa LGBTQ community ang laban na 'to," Petecio, who identifies as a lesbian, told reporters in a post-match interview.

"I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. Sulong, laban!."

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The 29-year old Petecio took home a silver medal after losing to opponent Sena Irie from Japan in the women’s featherweight finals. 

Her silver win ended the 25-year wait for a podium finish in boxing, a feat last achieved by Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco in Atlanta in 1996, who also won silver.

Together with fellow woman Hidilyn Diaz, Petecio led the Philippines to its strongest finish in the Olympics.

Team Philippines' feat is poised to become more historic. Boxers Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial assured the country at least two more bronze medals, bringing the multi-medal count to four, after they qualified for the semis in their respective weight divisions. Golfer Yuka Saso will fight for a podium finish on Wednesday.

Like Petecio, street skateboarder Margielyn Didal, who ended her Olympics debut at 7th place, is also openly lesbian. 

Also this year, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history as the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics. 

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It's been long time coming for LGBT representation at the Olympics. According to the Associate Press, as recently as 2012, almost a decade ago, there had been just two dozens of publicly out competitors in the 10,000-strong competition. 

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