Saturday, August 23, 2008
Matthew Mitcham and our Gay Olympic Heroes
I watched Matthew Mitcham compete in the finals of the 10-metre platform event this afternoon.
The other day I said I was sad and angry that he was the only out gay male athlete at the Beijing games.
But that only made what happened today even sweeter.
Mitcham, 20, battled depression, retired in his teenage years after physical and emotional burn-out, then just nine months later resumed his sport in 2007. Last night his triumphant return to the sport was crowned with gold.
"Everything absolutely everything has been for this. I knew it was a far chance but I did everything, absolutely everything I could, to give myself the best chance of doing it. It's actually happened I never thought it would."
And this was a bonus.
One person who has been by his side for the entire tumultuous and now brilliant journey is his partner, Lachlan, he was in the crowd last night courtesy of a Johnson & Johnson Olympic sponsorship.
As I've said before I don't like to call athletes heroes. But Matthew really is one.
So I sent him a hero message.
Congratulations Champ! I know you'd rather just be known as a great Aussie diver.
But from all the gay kids in the world.
Thank you. Thank you Thank you....
And you should send him one too.
Hopefully at the next Olympics more gay athletes will find the courage to come out.
And make us as proud as these athletes did.
Wow. what an awesome performance. Way to go sisters. Way to go Matthew.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you....
P.S. As for the other non out gay athletes....if I could I'd also send them something. A little bag of chicken feathers....and a note.
Thanks for nothing....