New Zealand speed skater ties the knot with partner
Out speed skater and LGBT activist Blake Skjellerup has used social media to announce his marriage.
Skjellerup – who represented New Zealand in the 2010 Olympics – shared the news yesterday, before encouraging other young gay people to stay strong and remain true to themselves.
Blake and his partner, Saul Carrasco, tied the knot earlier this month in Hawaii.
The sports star – who came out four months after he competed in the 2010 Olympics – has used his public profile to help promote LGBT rights across the globe.
During the Sochi Winter Olympics in last year, he was even willing to risk arrest and deportation by wearing a rainbow pin to show his support for the LGBT community in Russia.
However, the skater sadly failed in his attempt to qualify for his spot in the games, where he would have been the only gay athlete to compete.
Mr Skjellerup said at the time: “It’s disappointing that I likely won’t be there on that level.
“I was very excited to be representing not only my country – but a greater community, and one who, for a large period of history, has been discriminated against on so many levels.”
After announcing his engagement last year, Mr Skjellerup admitted that he thought he would never find himself in a loving and happy marriage.
“I think when I was 16, I was starting to figure out who I was, and my biggest fear was that I couldn’t lead the life that I wanted, which was to get married and have children,” he said.
“And as I’ve matured, I came to learn that none of that was true: I could get married if I wanted to and I could have children if I wanted to.
“Four years after coming out, life couldn’t be any better, and I know that I can have all that.”