Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff is officially heading to her third Winter Olympics at Beijing 2022.
The openly lesbian athlete made the announcement on Instagram this week.
“IT’S OFFICIAL! I’m going to my third Olympic games!” she said.
“Thank you to all who have supported me in this amazing journey. You know who you are. I am forever grateful.”
The 28-year-old told Olympics.com.au, “Beijing is in February. I only want to win one thing, and that’s a gold medal at the Games.”
Belle Brockhoff, who came out in 2013 ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in Russia, has had a run of bad luck with injuries.
She tore her anterior cruciate ligament in 2017 and then two months before PyeongChang 2018 ruptured it again in a fall on the slopes.
During her injury rehab, she says she lost her confidence and dealt with bouts of lengthy depression. But she says her sport “saved her life”.
“That’s where I owe a lot to my snowboarding, because that was the one thing that gave me a lot of peace and a lot of happiness,” she said.
Brockhoff made it to the 2018 Games, ultimately finishing 11th in Women’s Snowboard Cross.
“The goal went from a gold medal at the Games to, ‘Okay, let’s see what my body and mind can do,’” she explained.
Brockhoff, who lives in Melbourne, is now ranked third overall in the World Cup standings.
Belle Brockhoff came out to protest Russia’s anti-gay laws
The 2022 Winter Olympics begin next week (February 4) in Beijing. This year is Belle Brockhoff’s third Olympics as an out athlete.
She came out as a lesbian in 2013, at age 20, ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
Brockhoff told the ABC at the time she was coming out in response to Russia’s anti-gay laws and wanted to take a stand for her fellow gay athletes.
“We have this unique opportunity as athletes to inspire others from a world stage, especially at the Olympics,” she said at the time.
“We don’t just represent ourselves but our country, our family, friends and people we don’t even know.
“Whilst being on the world stage, I believe it’s important to inspire people to be their best and create awareness around certain topics.”
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