Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Paralympian Courtney Ryan Is Out & Training for Tokyo 2021 in “It Gets Better” Docu-Series: Passion. Power. Performance.


Last summer, It Gets Better Project announced a docu-series in partnership with Procter & Gamble entitled “Passion. Power. Performance.” Now as we inch closer to the much anticipated 2021 Olympic Games, the four episode series has launched, and episode one features Arizona-based paralympic basketball player for Team USA, Courtney Ryan.

The docu-series shares inspirational stories behind proud LGBTQ+ athletes who are out and training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The digital series premiered during this year’s It Gets Better: A Digital Pride Experience event which streamed live on the organization’s YouTube Channel on June 23rd and 24th, and included a special interview with Courtney Ryan (timestamp: 2:21:00). The global audience of the It Gets Better Project received a glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ+ athletes who won’t let setbacks keep them from achieving their dreams.

For nearly a decade, the It Gets Better Project has upheld a mission to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe through storytelling and community building. Throughout “Passion. Power. Performance.” the organization will also amplify the stories of UK based swimmer Michael Gunning (competing for Jamaica), Brazil rugby player Izzy Cerullo, and USA BMX freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe.

In her “Passion. Power. Performance.” video, Courtney says, “I want to be an inspiration because you see me on the court doing some crazy tricks, tilting in a chair, doing all of this stuff that you wouldn’t expect. That’s what I love about wheelchair basketball -- we get the opportunity to change perceptions and change ideas of what disability should look like. We aren’t fragile. We are competitors, and we’re ready to prove that.”

“Passion. Power. Performance.” will emphasize the resilience of queer athletes and allow viewers to learn about the necessary community of support for a LGBTQ+ athlete’s success. We will hear about coming out in the public eye and how that journey relates to their performance, where they draw their strength to compete from, and what obstacles they anticipate along with their plans to overcome them. Given the pushback of the Olympics to 2021 due to the global pandemic, these athletes have been met with an all-new set of challenges and forced to find inspiration for their resilience as they continue to navigate these unprecedented times.