Ian Matos, the Brazilian Olympic diver, has died at the age of 32 from a non-COVID related lung infection.
Matos, who credited British, fellow Olympic diver Tom Daley with giving him the courage to come out of the closet, spent the last two months of his life in a hospital before passing on December 21.
He publicly came out as gay in 2014 after being inspired by seeing Daley’s coming out video in 2013.
Matos told the Correia newspaper when he came out that he could no long manage the pressure of hiding his personal life. He also said a close friend had advised him against going public.
Matos, whose main event was the men’s synchronized three-meter springboard, won three bronze medals at the 2010 South American Games.
He also competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, coming in eighth place with his diving partner, Luiz Outerelo.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee offered this statement of condolence: “It is with deep sadness that the Olympic Committee of Brazil (COB) receives the news of the early death, at the age of 32, of Olympic diving athlete Ian Matos, victim of a lung infection.”
“Ian had a successful career and was part of the Brazilian team at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara 2011, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019, in addition to the World Water Sports Championships, World Cups, South American Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
Here’s a look at Matos discussing the importance of LGBTQ visibility: