Gay swimmer from Estonia wins race

10 Sep, 2017
On the day of his second race at the World University Games, the Estonian-American swimmer Ayrton Kasemets was along the edge of the spectator section.

Kasemets, whose parents are originally from Estonia came out publicly as gay in 2015. The 21 year old man grew up in Chicago, Illinois.

He opened the competition Aug. 20 by winning his heat of the 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.25 seconds — five-hundredths shy of his personal record.

He then finished second in his heat of the 50 breaststroke (30.09 seconds) on Aug. 24, took fourth in his heat of the 200 breaststroke (2:27.24) on Aug. 22, and helped the Estonia 4x100 medley relay finish seventh in its heat (3:52.80) on Aug. 26.

Throughout his time with the Estonia swimmers, he felt welcomed.

“My team’s reaction to my LGBT status was incredibly positive and accepting,” Kasemets said.