Closet door bustdown

Track and field champ Denis Finnegan comes out as gay

Track and field star Denis Finnegan just came out as gay.

The 10-time national track and field champion opened up for the first time publicly about his sexual orientation with LGBTQ sports reporter Cyd Zeigler on the podcast Five Rings To Rule Them All.

Finnegan, who is originally from Ireland but now lives in Melbourne, said he hopes that by coming out he can be a role model for other young athletes and “give them more confidence in what they’re doing.”

“There are still people who are scared or unsure of what’s happening, so I hope just telling my story might help one person notice there’s more acceptance out there,” he said.

The 33-year-old went on to say that keeping his sexual orientation a secret made him feel less enthusiastic about sports.

“I loved sports and my whole family was sporty,” he explained. “I’d want to be doing the sports. But there was a part of them I wasn’t enjoying at all.”

He especially shied away from team sports like football because “they were a team sport with males, there were times when it wasn’t comfortable.”

Finnegan gravitated towards track and field because he didn’t feel as pressured to hide his true identity.

“It was always the sport that was the one that was the most open,” he said.

“I’d be training with girls, I’d be training with guys, and I think that did help a bit. I was never worried about any kind of comments on the track. But when I was going for, say, football, it was more of an issue.”

At the end of the interview, Finnegan shared a quote from Theodore Roosevelt that he has often looked to for inspiration:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Scroll down for more pics from Finnegan’s Instagram page…

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Do I know you from somewhere?Why do you leave me wanting more?

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