From gay icon, to Olympic champion, Australian, Matthew Mitcham has won his first gold medal. He is the only openly gay male athlete competing in Beijing. There are 9 lesbians and one bisexual woman competing alongside him.
In the last moment he snatched the gold from China’s Zhou Luxin, achieving earning four perfect 10s on his last dive, a back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twist and a difficulty of 3.8 earning him four perfect tens and a total of 112 from that dive alone. He finished with 537.95 points.
This allowed him to overcome a 32.50-point gap between him and Luxin, who had been leading throughout much of the competition.
Waving rather camply towards the cameras after each dive, the 20-year-old came in 12th place at the 2005 World Championships. He has also competed internationally in trampolining at the 2003 Youth Olympic Festival.
British Prime minister, Gordon Brown was among the spectators, primarily to watch 14-year-old Tom Daley who came in seventh place.
Mr Daley said: “It was an unbelievable finish from Mitcham. To get all those 10s, that is probably the highest score I have ever seen in one dive.”
The final scores were:-
1. Matthew Mitcham (Australia) 537.95 points
2. Zhou Luxin (China) 533.15
3. Gleb Galperin (Russia) 525.80
4. Huo Liang (China) 508.40
5. Jose Antonio Guerra Oliva (Cuba) 507.15
6. Mathew Helm (Australia) 467.70
7. Thomas Daley (Britain) 463.55
8. Rommel Pacheco (Mexico) 460.20
9. Patrick Hausding (Germany) 448.30
10. David Boudia (U.S.) 441.45
11. Juan Guillermo Uran (Colombia) 414.80
12. Thomas Finchum (U.S.) 412.65