A gay former Olympic athlete from Australia has come out as HIV positive after seeing an interview with the diver Greg Louganis.
Ji Wallace won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He is in London, but not competing, for the 2012 Olympics and saw Piers Morgan’s interview with HIV positive retired diver Greg Louganis.
The interview inspired the trampolinist, who came out publicly in 2005, to reveal his HIV status to the Sydney Star Observer.
He said: “I have been contemplating writing this for a while. I caught a CNN Piers Morgan interview with Greg Louganis here in London. It made me think and think and I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote.”
“I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV. I have never publicly disclosed this before but felt inspired by [the] interview… and by Anderson Cooper’s ‘coming out’ letter last month describing ‘value in being seen and heard’ in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.
“I too have been that victim of these atrocious behaviours. Luckily I managed to come through.”
The Olympian is attending the Pride House events in east London during the Olympics.
He continued: “Being seen does have value. A voice does have value. I have the support of my boyfriend, my great friends and my loving parents. Many do not and this is, in part, for them.”
Ji Wallace was the first Australian to be an Ambassador for the Gay Games.