Swimmer Ian Thorpe, seen here in 2004 with one of his five Olympic gold medals, told an Australian news outlet that he is gay in an interview that aired on Sunday, July 13.
Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay on February 9. Sam later became the first openly gay player to be drafted by a NFL team when he was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round.
Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional American sporting match when he took the field for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy during a match against the Seattle Sounders on May 26.
Sheryl Swoopes, a retired WNBA star and coach of the Loyola University Chicago's women's basketball team, came out in 2005.
Rugby player Gareth Thomas of Wales spoke about being gay to a British news channel in 2009.
Justin Fashanu became the first openly gay soccer player in Europe when he came out in 1990. Eight years later, he took his own life.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova came out in 1981.
After his retirement in 2007, basketball player John Amaechi announced he was gay.
After retiring from professional football in 1972, David Kopay acknowledged to the Washington Star that he was gay.
Villanova University's Will Sheridan came out to his teammates in 2003.
In 2012, U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe confirmed in Out magazine that she was a lesbian.
Champion figure skater Johnny Weir confirmed in his 2011 memoir, "Welcome to My World," that he was gay.
Australia's Matthew Mitcham came out in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2008.
In 2012, Orlando Cruz became the first active professional fighter to publicly announce that he was gay.
Openly gay British dressage rider Carl Hester helped his team win gold at the 2012 Olympics.
English cricketer Steven Davies announced he was gay in 2011.
Germany's Judith Arndt won the silver medal in cycling at the 2012 Olympics.
Billy Bean, a former Major League Baseball player, discussed being gay in a 1999 New York Times article.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King was outed by a former female partner in 1981.
In 2002, professional football player Esera Tuaolo came out on HBO's "Real Sports."
French tennis player Amelie Mauresmo came out in 1999.
Greg Louganis, who won four Olympic golds for the United States during his diving career, has been openly gay since 1995.