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Australian Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham: I'm Gay


Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham came out to the media for the first time on Saturday, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. He'll be the first openly gay athlete from Australia to compete in the Olympics:

"The gold medal hopeful's journey has not been easy. Those close to him have seen Mitcham, 20, battle depression, retire in his teenage years after physical and emotional burn-out, then nine months later resume his sport and build himself into the champion he is today. One person who has been by his side for the entire tumultuous journey is his partner, Lachlan. 'We can't afford for Lachlan to go at the moment,' Mitcham said. 'But Johnson & Johnson offer grants to go to Beijing and I've nominated Lachlan as the support person I want to go.' It's not only Lachlan who has helped Mitcham to Beijing. His coach, Chava Sobrino, had faith in him when no one else did and resurrected his career. Former athlete Sarina Bratton cares for him like a son and fellow diver Alex Croak is a constant sounding board and his best friend. 'That little support network has made my dream possible,' Mitcham said. 'It would have been impossible and I probably wouldn't have made it without their help.'"


AFTER THE JUMP, Mitcham at the 2008 FINA Diving Grand Prix in Beijing...

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  1. Wow, that guy's story is nearly identical to the plot of the novel The Front Runner, which is about a gay Olympic runner rather than a swimmer.

    Posted by: crispy | May 27, 2008 9:26:49 AM

  2. Great story but the first picture of Matthew Mitcham seems to objectify him more than introduce him. I'm surprised that the Australian paper didn't choose a different one. A head shot, a picture of him with his lover, family, or coach would have been better in context.

    Maybe I'm being sensitive but sometimes gays are overly sexualized by the media in their depiction. Given his success, wouldn't a picture of him with a medal be better than?

    With other Australian swimmers, like Thorpe, is this the kind of picture that would be used to introduce someone? The second picture of Mitcham in a dive seems more representative of sports photography.

    Anyway, I hope he's able to find the funds to take his partner with him to Beijing.

    Posted by: noah | May 27, 2008 9:28:45 AM

  3. Cool story

    Lots of luck with his Olympic endeavor

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 27, 2008 9:32:52 AM

  4. good on him. luv it! he should start a public fund to get his partner's ass over there with him. i'd contribute.

    Posted by: nic | May 27, 2008 9:39:19 AM

  5. NIC


    Great idea. I'd contribute as well. That Sh@t is expensive. WAPO had a recent article stating that it can run $20,000 for just 1 guest at bare bone prices. Yikes.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 27, 2008 9:51:24 AM

  6. Nic & Jimmy: I was thinking the same thing-where do I contribute? 20 bucks from 1,000 queers online and the thing would be done.

    Posted by: PistolPetey | May 27, 2008 10:11:52 AM

  7. JIMBOY,

    yikes! indeed. my wallet is not so full.

    Posted by: nic | May 27, 2008 10:15:52 AM


    (btw, always have loved your username.) that was my thinking on it. $10 from 2000 queers sounds better, though. we gotsta, gotsta help that boy. he needs all the support he can get. he needs his b.f. by his side.

    ok, i can spare 20 bucks to bring this sweet olympic story to fruition.

    Posted by: nic | May 27, 2008 11:27:04 AM

  9. God, it really makes Ian Thorpe's neurotic, petulant insistence that he not come out and his ongoing flat out lies to the press seem so pointless and needless.

    Matt winning would be so cool. What a class act.

    Posted by: Matt | May 27, 2008 11:38:28 AM

  10. Aw...I'm loving this! Hope he wins!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | May 27, 2008 12:07:50 PM

  11. Partner? Do they mean boyfriend? I mean, really...

    Why is the story so glum?? He sounds like he's depressed he HAS to go to they Olympics. Shouldn't he be pleased and happy?? This ain't root-canal.

    It raises the question of how many out gay athletes in general are going (any from the US?), whether there are protests about gay athletes and one wonders if the IOC, prone to banning anything that hurts PR, will try to eliminate gays from the competition in the future.

    Posted by: anon | May 27, 2008 12:08:07 PM

  12. Ok

    I wrote the Sydney Morning Herald and asked "Is there a fund to help Matthew Mitchem's signifigant other get to the Beijing Olympics to support him? If not then are you able to contact him and tell him that there is intrest in such a fund? Another article telling about such a fund would be cool."

    I also did spell check on the e-mail.



    We will see what happens.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 27, 2008 1:30:28 PM

  13. Well certainly we all ought to be watching to support The Family. It doesn't hurt that he's rrrreal hott too! And surely The Family can pitch in to make sure his man is in the stands watching.

    Posted by: clint | May 27, 2008 3:09:34 PM

  14. ANON, I don't see how this story is glum. He had some hard times in the past, overcame them, and now his "dream has come true." Happy ending.

    Noah, I think you might be objectifying him. (And who can blame you---he's hot.)That's how swimmers dress--bare minimum. What would have been weird would be a picture of him in street clothes.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 27, 2008 4:06:32 PM

  15. If there is a fund set up for this guy, please make it known. I'd love to send him some cash.

    Posted by: Rob (lrdarystar) | May 27, 2008 6:57:50 PM

  16. Hi Guys - can dykes contribute too? :-) If a fund were set up I would contribute for sure, it's important that his partner gets to share in his Olympic gold bid. Great story.

    Posted by: Lesbo Gina | May 28, 2008 12:58:15 AM

  17. I'm a Sydney guy not known to Matthew, but his official mail address is :-

    Matthew Mitcham
    NSWIS Diving Squad
    NSW Institute of Sport
    PO Box 476
    Sydney Markets NSW
    AUSTRALIA 2129

    I don't know of any organised fund raising.


    Posted by: G. Pugh | May 28, 2008 2:57:40 AM

  18. Thanks G

    I haven't recieved an e-mail response back from the Sydney Morning Herald yet.

    SO.....I just did a quick internet search for NSWIS thanks G

    I sent off an e-mail asking if they could contact matthew (heck his name is on their freaking home page)and mention the fund thing. I also mentioned that if USA citizens were willing to contribute just think what the people of AU would do.

    Lesbo Gina :-)

    Of course a sister's help wouldn't be turned away. Welcome aboard.

    Hopefuly I get a response back and if so then I will post it and even pass it on to Andy and hopefuly he will post an official thread about it.


    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 28, 2008 7:41:58 AM

  19. Two words re: title of story:

    Lucky us!

    Posted by: Joe | May 28, 2008 2:31:04 PM

  20. Thanks JimmyBoyo, I'll check back for any update. My partner and several other sisters would love to chip in too if there's a fund. Can't say men's diving was top of my list for Olympic TV before reading this story, but it's a "must watch" to cheer him on now he's out and proud.

    Posted by: Lesbo Gina | May 28, 2008 11:51:39 PM

  21. Hi Fantastic diving just watched you get the gold really good and such a cute boi tooo

    Posted by: Nigel Sellick | Aug 23, 2008 9:57:26 AM

  22. congrats on the gold matt. Amazing effort. Shame your aust channel (7) didn't show it all. Another fuck up by our Olympic network! I'm sure they will be kissing your arse now for the interview, something we all would enjoy. It's a great arse! Aussie Aussie aussie oi oi oi!

    Posted by: mark | Aug 23, 2008 10:16:56 AM

  23. An anonymous donation IN HONOR OF MATTHEW MITCHAM has been made to the Bulldog Pride Scholarship Fund at Fresno State. ~ Give today. For tomorrow and beyond. ~

    Posted by: peter robertson | Aug 26, 2008 4:23:04 PM

  24. A nice pic of the couple!

    Posted by: Arthur | Aug 30, 2008 1:25:49 PM

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