The Netherlands’ equestrian team for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo includes a gay couple. Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud have been together for over a decade and have competed together before.
In Tokyo, the pair will represent the Netherlands in dressage — a form of riding that involves a range of tests for the rider and horse.
"Competitions are a way of life and it is so much fun if you are with someone who precisely understands that and knows what you are doing, dedicating all your time to horses," Minderhoud told eurodressage.com in 2008.
The Olympians competed at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, according to OutSports. They finished fourth. Each also has an Olympic medal. Gal won bronze in 2012 and Minderhoud won silver in 2008.
At the 2014 World Championships, they won a team dressage bronze.
In 2012, Gal beat the U.S. team who played with a horse owned by Ann Romney, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s wife. Mitt Romney ran for president that year as the Republican candidate and opposed same-sex marriage.
When previously asked if his sexual orientation has caused him to be treated differently in equestrian, Minderhoud said, according to FEI, “I haven’t, but in our sport, it’s not an exception being gay.”
Marlies van Balen will be the third member of the Dutch dressage team.