Here is one more reason to watch the coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, hosted by the city of London this year. That reason: Matthew Mitcham.
Mr. Mitcham made a big splash (HAH!) in the 2008 Beijing Games by snatching away Gold from the Chinese men’s diving team for the 10-meter platform event. Side bar: Does anyone else miss the days when Communist teams competed to avoid the Gulag? I just feel like they were better competitors when their safety and the safety of their family was on the line.
Anyway Mitcham also made waves (double-HAH!) by coming out of the closet shortly after his win. NBC caught-flack for not mentioning his boyfriend who was cheering him along in the stands even though they spend untold hours on the stories of straight athlete’s wives and girlfriends.
Mitcham is gorgeous, charming and above all a very talented diver and is expected to medal if not win gold again this summer in London.
He recently gave an interview to Australia’s The Sydney Morning Herald where he talked about his comfort with being openly gay:
”I certainly don’t see it as a burden. I never did, especially with how much attention the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] 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.”
I personally can’t wait to watch him compete in 2012. I am also looking forward to men’s swimming, wrestling, men’s water-polo and the equestrian events.