When the Guardian says, in its subheading of a story called The LGBT athletes making history at the 2018 Winter Olympics that "Eric Radford has made history as the [Winter Olympic] Games' first openly gay gold medalist", what is the reader to think?
Especially when the lead paragraph is..
Pyeongchang's Olympics have seen athletes more open and public about their sexuality than ever before, with Canada's Eric Radford becoming the first out Olympian to claim gold at a Winter Games
.. it's obviously that he is the first out LGBT athlete to win one.
Except that even without the question of whether John Curry came out before his win in 1976, you have to get to paragraph fourteen before being reminded that, oh yes, an out bisexual woman has won five:
Netherlands speed-skater Ireen Wüst is one of the most successful LGBT athletes in Olympic history, having picked up 10 medals since making her debut in the 2006 Turin Games. She won her fifth gold on Monday. Wüst is bisexual, and in a relationship with long-distance skater Letitia de Jong, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for Pyeongchang herself.
So, someone who's been out as bisexual since at least January 2011 – "When she gave an interview with Paul de Leeuw on TV in January 2011 and at Villa Morero in 2012, she spoke openly about her love for men and women. Wüst explained why she thinks it's normal for her to love someone as a person, whether it's a man or a woman" – won two gold medals between then and 2018 before adding another one on the same day as Eric Radford won his.
This is what erasure looks like.
Saying that she's 'one of the' most successful LGBT Olympic athletes also outrageously minimises her achievements. With five gold, four silver, and a bronze medal, she is the most successful LGBT athlete for the combined Olympics* (and one of the most successful of any!) beating Ian Thorpe's record by a silver. Ireen is also in with a good chance of winning a sixth gold as part of the Netherlands' team pursuit squad in the speed skating…
Oh, if it's not the late great John Curry, who was the real first out LGBT athlete to win Winter Games gold? I can't find anything to say that Chris Witty who won the 1000m speed skating in 2002 was out then, so it looks like it was Sarah Vaillancourt who won gold as part of the Canadian women's ice hockey team in 2006 and 2010, having come out as lesbian by 2004, with Vibeke Skofterud who was part of the Norwegian team in the cross-country skiing 4 x 5 km relay in 2010, second having come out** in 2008.
* Having looked through the records of everyone in the Wikipedia list of LGBT Athletes in the Olympics, the only Paralympian in that list, Lee Pearson, has more with eleven gold, two silver, and a bronze.
** My Norwegian search skills mean it's not easy to say what she came out as! She talks about having had relationships with more than one gender, but the 2008 article makes it sound like she would have identified as lesbian at that point. Neither the English or Norwegian for lesbian, bisexual or LGBT seem to appear on her website.