Tom Luchsinger, who in 2013 won the 200m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championship in Barcelona, has come out as gay in a deeply emotional letter published over at Outsports.
For as long as I can remember I tried to repress my feelings through athletics. I tried to hide who I was through medals and accomplishments. I tried to pray away my sexuality. I tried to shower it off. Nothing ever worked. After years of stress, hate, and disgust toward myself, I have come to accept who I am. I am a proud gay man living my life the best way I know how, surrounded by people who love and support me!
For years, my sexuality was the quality I was most ashamed of about myself. But now it seems that being gay is one of the characteristics I'm most proud of. I have accomplishments linked to my name that most heterosexual men will never have. I've overcome the fear of being rejected from the people I love the most.
My friendships have gotten stronger because of my self acceptance. My smile is a lot more genuine and surfaces much more frequently. I laugh a lot more. My body has time to recover from a workout because I'm actually an easy-going person. I have found qualities-both physical and emotional-that I like about myself - though that's still a work in progress. My number of good days far out number my bad days.
I'm still the same person I have always been, just a hell of a lot better at it.
Read Luchsinger's full letter here.
And check out his impressive 2013 championship win AFTER THE JUMP...