Matthew Mitcham has credited coming out
with helping him win gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Mitcham came out publicly two months
prior to competing in Beijing.
The Australian retired Olympic diving
champion told The
Daily Telegraph that he worried about being rejected.
"It is certainly something I was
afraid of. Even living in Australia, I was afraid of being ostracised
and isolated and rejected and I guess things like these even help me
to realize how much of a wonderful community we have and if you were
to be ostracised by your country of origin, you are going to be
accepted into a wonderful whole community,” he said. "I hope
that gives people just a bit of faith and confidence."
“Speaking from experience, being an
openly gay authentic me, that had the most profound effect on my
self-esteem, which then had the most profound effect on my
"It meant I was able to be present
in my training sessions, which means I was able to give myself whole
heartedly to every session and I was able to focus so intensely on
the diving because I didn't have any of this social interactional
sexuality stuff going on in the background,” he added.
Mitcham, 30, is providing commentary
for Channel Seven at the Commonwealth Games taking place in