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Long track speedskater Conor McDermott-Mostowy marked his recent two-title showing at the U.S. National Championships with another milestone — coming out.
While the 22-year-old champion skater was never closeted to friends and family, he told Outsports he avoided coming out publicly for fear of encountering negative stigmas about gay men in athletics.
“I think I’ve kind of always had that at the back of my mind,” McDermott-Mostowy said. “I don’t want to talk about being gay, because there’s a stereotype that gay guys aren’t athletic, and I don’t want that to be held against me or used to justify a bad result.”
After scoring double wins in the Men’s Mass Start and Men’s 100 Meter races, as well as a third-place finish in the 1,500 race, McDermott-Mostowy felt he’d more than proven himself on the ice.
“I feel like at this point, no one can say anything,” he said.
Now McDermott-Mostowy’s sights are set on the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he hopes to represent the U.S. If he does make the team it will be a remarkable achievement — he only started long track skating five years ago.
He hopes his story can inspire others. “If a happy coming out story, a happy athletic story, can help someone, that’s great,” he said.
We wish him the best of luck with his Olympic ambitions.