Bisexual Olympian reveals some athletes won’t even shake his hand since he came out
Bisexual Olympic hopeful Jack Woolley has revealed that some of his opponents won’t shake his hand since he came out.
The Irish athlete revealed that he was bisexual in 2016 on RTÉ’s Road to Rio documentary when he was just 17-years-old. Four years on, he has become the first Irish person to qualify for the Olympics in Taekwondo.
But some athletes in martial arts have refused to shake his hand since he came out.
Bisexual Olympic hopeful says his sport can be ‘tough’.
“It is tough, my sport,” Woolley told Extra.ie.
“A lot of the top athletes would be Muslim, so you can’t be too open about it. I have had some opponents who wouldn’t shake my hand and I’m just thinking ‘you need to cop on’.
“Some have, though. One of the top fighters in the world came up to shake my hand after I won the European silver. I appreciated that.”
I have had some opponents who wouldn’t shake my hand and I’m just thinking ‘you need to cop on’.
Despite the occasional detractor, Woolley insists that most people “don’t care” about his sexuality.
“It’s only if you have a problem with me, I will have a problem with you. Maybe it can be good, maybe I can be an inspiration to some young people. And if someone wants to talk to me about what they are going through, they can but I’m not throwing it in your face.”
Jack Woolley regrets coming out when he did.
When Jack Woolley came out as bisexual, he was lauded in his native Ireland for his courage – but he now regrets coming out when he did.
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He revealed that he had just come out to his parents when he made the revelation in the documentary, and his grandparents hadn’t been told about his sexuality.
He is now adamant that he does not want to be known for his sexuality, but instead wants to be recognised for his achievements in martial arts.
“I just wish I never labelled it. I still don’t like labelling it. People are just hell-bent on giving everyone labels nowadays,” Woolley said.
He also said he is not like Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas or Tom Daley.
“I don’t want to be that. I want to be the first Irish Olympian in my sport, the lad from Tallaght who went to the Olympics, not Jack the gay athlete.”