MAN FROM OZ

Out Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham Ready To Be Role Model For Gay Athletes

Gay athletes have a big-brother figure in out Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham.

Mitcham tells the Sydney Morning Herald:

“I certainly don’t see [being gay] as a burden. I never did, especially with how much attention the LGBT cause has been getting lately with marriage equality… and with how few openly gay sports stars there are around at the moment. I don’t mind attention being put on it.

Ideally I would like one day for sexuality to be as unimportant and uninteresting as hair colour, or eye colour or even just gender in general. One day it will get to that.

“But until it is easy for sports people to come out without fear of persecution or fear of lost sponsorship income and stuff like that, or fear of being comfortable in the team environment, I don’t mind attention being brought to my sexuality in the hope that it might make other people feel more comfortable … in being comfortable enough about who they are in their sporting environment.”

He picked up perfect 10s on a number of dives in the Australian Olympic trials last month, so it seems like he’s ready to take gold for the gays again, like he did at Beijing 2008 in the 10 meter platform event.

Perhaps this time NBC will actually mention the fact that he’s gay, or at least not cut footage of him hugging his boyfriend after winning?