Living authentically

Olympic swimmer and TV personality comes out

Mark Foster has come out as gay in a new interview with Winq.

The athlete — a former Team GB swimmer who set eight world records — managed to keep his sexuality a secret for over three decades.

Now, the BBC presenters says he wants to live life more “authentically.”

Related: It wasn’t easy, but this gay college swimmer is now set to compete at the World University Games

“It always seemed to me that I had this secret undercurrent that was my secret life. So what I showed people on the surface was Mark the swimmer, Mark the bloke, and beneath the surface was this other story. And so now I want to be a bit more authentic…

When I was on the team I was Mark the Swimmer, I didn’t want [my sexuality] to get in the way of that. I stood on the block and it’s like, right, you’ve got to be a pillar here, and I think I just got used to not showing my competitors any weakness.”

He insists he wasn’t “in a dark place” personally; friends and family knew about his sexuality.

“I wasn’t like Gareth Thomas,” he tells The Guardian. “I was never in that dark place. I’ve lived an openly gay life to my friends and family. But I always hid it as a swimmer.”