Robbie Manson

Olympic rower and new OnlyFans star Robbie Manson is returning to the water this weekend.

The two-time Olympian, who represented New Zealand in the 2012 and 2016 Games, is competing in the 2023 World Rowing Cup III, which is being held in Lucerne, Switzerland. It will be Manson’s first international competition in three years.

The world’s best time holder in the men’s single sculls–a 200-meter course that became the Olympic standard in 1912–Manson will be racing with partner Ben Mason in the men’s double.

The out athlete has been posting about his big comeback on Instagram throughout the week.

“Leaving NZ for the first time in 4 years! It’s an exciting moment as I embark on this new adventure with @ben.mason1115,” he wrote.

Though Mason was slated to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he retired shortly after the event was canceled due to COVID. During that time, he reassessed his life, and prioritized his mental health.

“This is all I knew,” he said in a recent interview. “It was really scary to step away for a lot of reasons, because I didn’t know anything else. But I also knew that I needed to.”

But now, Manson is back in, and he’s racing with a special partner. He first met Mason four years ago when he gave a speech to his rowing team, and they’ve stayed close ever since.

When the time came to register for the World Rowing Cup, they requested to race together, despite only competing in less than 10 rows as a duo.

“We actually asked if we could race the double together, thinking we could be quite a decent double,” said Manson in a TV interview.

Manson, 33, expounded on their unique relationship in an Instagram post.

“This journey holds a special significance for me as four years ago, I had the honor of giving Ben his pre-race talk at the Maadi Cup before he clinched the under 18 double. Now, we get to race together on the international stage!” he wrote.

“When I first contemplated returning to international rowing, I had some reservations. I wanted to ensure that I could enjoy the process this time around, as it was something that slipped away from me before. However, thanks to the incredible group of people around me – including coach Gary Roberts, and my amazing teammates Ben, Jack and Jordan – this return has been an absolute joy.”

While racing with Mason pushed Manson to compete again, he says he rediscovered his passion for rowing during his time away.

“I’m getting older, and then realizing it’s a privilege to be able to do this,” he said. “So I’m making the most of the opportunity while I’m still young enough to give it a crack.”

With his sights set on Paris 2024, Manson recently created his own OnlyFans page to celebrate his self-expression, and help support him while he trains.

“I joined OnlyFans,” he wrote in an essay for Outsports. “Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify. My content on the platform is anything but adult entertainment,” he writes. “I promise no explicit content or shenanigans, just a fun and playful space where I can express myself creatively and promote body positivity, sensuality and self-acceptance.”

Manson publicly came out as gay in 2014, after being out to friends and family for a couple of years. In his coming out essay, he says he used to think that coming out would end his athletic career. He found the idea to be “limiting” and “terrifying.”

It didn’t take him very long to realize he was wrong. Just two years later, he said it was the best decision he ever made.

“I have enjoyed the past four years more than the previous four and I think that has a lot to do with just being myself,” he wrote in a 2016 Outsports essay.

Free of burden, Manson experienced incredible success in the years immediately following his coming out. He broke a world record and won an international male athlete of the year award.

With at least 186 out athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Games, Manson will have plenty of company in Team LGBTQ+ if he qualifies for Paris next year. And his comeback starts this weekend.

Scroll down for more pics of Manson and his beautiful build…

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