Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Matthew Mitcham on being Australia's first openly gay Olympian

Check out The Advocate's interview with openly gay gold medallist diver Matthew Mitcham. In this clip (there are four in total), Mitcham talks about the intersection of celebrity and homosexuality and how he felt about NBC's omission of his homosexuality in their coverage of his Beijing win. The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that unlike his fellow Olympians (all of whom are, ostensibly, straight), Mitcham has had trouble securing endorsement contracts.

Mitcham, when asked about his hopes for fellow gay athletes, and the next generation, says, "my hope for gay athletes in the future is that their sexuality isn't an issue in sport, that they don't have to deal with adversity or controversy, that it's just not such a big deal, that people don't make such a big fuss of it, that it's not something that's unusual, it's not something they have to deal with, because sport itself is not easy, and so if negative things come from their sexuality, or extra work or extra stress comes from it, on top of sport... it's not something that an athlete has to deal with, so I hope it's something that gay athletes don't have to deal with."

Couldn't have said it better myself. After all, no one goes around asking Usain Bolt, "hey, what's it like being a straight athlete?"

Also, check out the amazing airborne shots from the magazine's photo shoot. This guy can do some seriously cool things with his body. His accent's not bad either.

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