Olympics winner: ‘Being gay cost me sponsorships’ Staff Writer April 17, 2009
bookmarking iconSAVE FOR LATER

Matthew Mitcham, the Australian diver who won the ten-metre platform gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, has said he believes he lost sponsorship deals due to being openly gay.

According to the Daily Telegraph, he said: “I haven’t experienced any homophobia in sport but I’m hoping I’m not experiencing any in the corporate world because I haven’t had any companies rushing to sponsor me,” he said.

“It took me a very long time to secure any form of sponsorship after the Olympics, and that’s still my only sponsorship.”

Mitcham, 20, beat 14-year-old Brit Tom Daley to make history by receiving the highest mark for an individual dive at an Olympic Games.

He came out in a newspaper interview shortly before the Games began and has since become something of a gay role model.

When asked how he felt on the responsibility, he said: “As soon as anybody looks up to you, you automatically become a role model whether you choose to be or not, and you can either embrace it or not.

“I choose to embrace it and try to be the best role model I can be.”

Mitcham was previously a trampolining champion before being spotted by a coach at a pool who thought he had potential to succeed at diving.

He battled depression and anxiety, taking a year-long break before returning to the sport to claim gold.

In February, he was named as one of three new ambassadors for the Australian government’s men’s health policy.

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!


Loading ...