Water polo star comes out as gay before heading to Rio Olympics
Water polo star Víctor Gutiérrez on Spain’s national team has come out as gay before heading to the Rio Olympics.
The 25-year-old from Madrid came out on the cover of LGBTI website and magazine Shangay.
“My family knows I’m gay, my friends too. And I’m living in such a positive way with my sexuality that I felt a responsibility to share it with others,” Gutiérrez said.
“There have been more than 70 homophobic attacks in Madrid so far this year,” he said, adding:
“It is a reality that we live in. And there are almost no athletes who are out of the closet. But in my experience, people have changed.
“As an athlete, my experience has been absolutely positive.”
Although he “never sat down with the president of my club, the coach or teammates” to come out officially, Gutiérrez said that he would bring his boyfriend at the time to meet the team.
The water polo star added: “I hope my coming out serves to break a taboo within the sport. You have to be judged not by your sexuality but by your sporting merit.”
Earlier this month, Spain’s first openly gay referee quit football, insisting he “cannot take any more”.
Jesús Tomillero took the decision after he was subjected to a torrent of abuse following his decision to give a penalty during a match between Portuense and San Fernando Isleño last weekend.