Inspired by fellow Olympian Greg Louganis, Australian trampolinist Ji Wallace has revealed he is HIV positive
Wallace, who is in London to watch the games as a spectator and appear at Pride House events, won a silver medal at the 2000 games in Sydney. He said that after catching a CNN Piers Morgan interview with Louganis, he was so moved that he couldn’t sleep.
So he decided to write a letter to Australia’s Star Observer, revealing his HIV status.
“I have never publicly disclosed this before,” Wallace said, “but felt inspired by [the] interview… and by Anderson Cooper’s ‘coming out’ letter last month describing ‘value in being seen and heard’ in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.”
Wallace confided he’s faced similar discriminaiton, but has “managed to come through.”
“I am doing it to raise awareness of this issue. It is still here,” Wallace told the Star Observer, adding, “Being seen does have value. A voice does have value. I have the support of my boyfriend, my great friends and my loving parents. Many do not and this is, in part, for them.”