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.”

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  • broadshoulder

    You who!! Mark! I am over here!

  • Jaxton

    Why should he have to show his homosexuality as a swimmer? It’s not needed. Last time I checked, stroke making has nothing to do with sexuality.

    • robert_moore

      Surely you are not that clueless? He means he didn’t want his teammates to know about him to avoid the probable hostility that would occur and the controversy with his team. Thirty years ago, athletics was even more homophobic than it is now. That meant, he had to always guard what he said, manage where he was seen, never talk about his real personal life, or give anyone any reason to think he wanted to hook up with them.

    • DCguy

      What a shock, the right wing troll is on here defending the closet.

      Here’s a question, why should he have to HIDE it? When every other medal winner is talking about or hugging and kissing their wife, or mentioning them in an interview, why should he NOT?

      You anti-lgbt trolls make it SO easy to spot you.

    • man5996853

      If “stroke making” has nothing to do with your sexuality, you are doing it wrong.

  • alfred

    I am glad that he did a good interview about this. He did not obfuscate, and addressed his short comings. I can only thank him for not pulling some bullshit like many others that come out do. However, it is a tad bit sad to be doing so at 47. This is a man of whom there are pics of him going to cruising grounds, and who ‘flatted’ with another swimmer (colin jackson, who also came out as gay this year after some pretty vigorous denials) for many years.

  • Green4Clover

    Olympic swimers are straight?

  • Kangol

    Good for him. I have to say I’ve never heard of him, but then I’m not a huge swimming fan. Speaking of Brits, when are some of those track & field, rugby (more of them), cricket, and soccer (football) stars going to burst out of that closet?

  • SiamSam

    “But I always hid it as a swimmer.” Not so well hidden inside wet speedos. And thankfully so.

  • Jack Meoff

    Another former pro athlete come out, it must be a Tuesday.

  • Frank

    Olympic swimming hero Mark Foster caught visiting notorious sex car park four times in a week

    BBC sports pundit Mark ­Foster has been spotted making several trips to a popular dogging site where strangers have sex in bushes and cars.

    The 46-year-old Olympian – Britain’s most decorated swimming hero – was spotted visiting the car park in his black Range Rover Sport, clocking up four visits in five days.

    • Josh447


    • Herman75

      It’s just like the fvcking Brits to hound him that way. Sickening. Just like that other Brit that journaled which gay athletes were using Grindr at the Olympics. Those blokes in the UK never change.

  • eireapparent

    Once again the toxic queen brigade posts. The why is this important guy, the too little too late guy, the he’s not cute guy, the I see it’s another post about a white guy guy… I mean, you read these comments sections on all these articles and it’s the same stereotyped nasty archetypes of gay men spewing the same nasty vitriol day in and out. Can’t you just celebrate this man’s happiness. It just feels like the bitter, sassy queen trope is so very 90s. Let’s move on. Be better people. Sheesh.

    • DCguy

      Where in any of these posts did somebody say he was ugly, or this isn’t important?

      Seems like YOUR post is just an excuse to attack lgbt people.

    • Josh447

      Here here! It’s the ugly ones inside and out that spout all the negs. The hotties are all out getting laid and or having real lives.

    • eireapparent

      I’m attacking toxic, negative people — not the whole of the lgbt community but if that helps sell your narrative, you go right ahead.

    • DCguy

      Awww, how adorable, you tried to talk about toxic negative people, but couldn’t point to any of the posts, so when I asked about it, you lashed out in a toxic negative way.

      My comment still stands, please point out this avalanche of toxic posts attacking this guy.

    • Kangol

      Who said anything about him being “white”? You just pulled that straight out of your *ss!

  • eireapparent

    My comment is about all the comments in this site. Not just this one. It’s catty, bitchy, negative comments so not all of my bullet points relate directly to this article. But if you guys are happy with all the negativity then good on you. Must be s wonderful world to live in. Full of happiness and such.

    • DCguy

      And I asked you twice to point out which comments you were referencing and twice you lashed out and attacked instead of simply pointing to the comments that were supposedly an avalanche of negativity.

      In other words, you wanted to post your little troll comment attacking lgbts, and yet when asked to back it up you couldn’t.

      Thanks for playing.

  • Nahald

    I cannot wait for the day when it’s no longer needed for peoiple to “Come out”. I never hear about straight people having to make a declaration of who they are, they same should apply to everyone including us in the LTBTQ community.

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