More Matthew Mitcham

I think it’s safe to say that after last week, gold medallist diver Matt Mitcham has graduated from gay icon to outright superstar, and it’s fascinating to see. I have seen a number of bloggers complaining about his attention, that his sexual orientation is and should be irrelevant, that his gold medal win was somehow run of the mill and that his story didn’t matter. I couldn’t agree less – he deserves all of the attention he’s continuing to generate because he’s allowed us to get to know him and share his journey. Not only did he come back from a premature retirement from diving in his late teens, but he suffered from depression and anxiety too, before he took the massive step of coming out publicly (risking his sponsorship) and going to the Olympics as the only out gay male competitor in the world. All this at only 20 years of age. And when he won, with the highest scoring dive in Olympic history, he displayed unimaginable grace and good humour. It was the culmination of a remarkable and engaging story which has rightly captivated the attention of fans worldwide.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Coming out publicly, that was a first,” said Vivien (his mother). “The highest score awarded to an Olympic dive ever, another first. How many more firsts can this child get? Can you find something else to be first in? He’s just done so well. He deserves it.”

Just as he has shown flipping around at 10 metres high, Mitcham has shown no fear about disclosing his sexuality. He was the first Australian athlete to go to an Olympics openly gay.

Carefully nursing Mitcham’s Olympic bouquet, (his boyfriend Lachlan )Fletcher spoke of the incredible journey that the diver had taken to the top. Fletcher has been the one constant over the past two years.

He was his rock when Mitcham retired in his late teenage years suffering anxiety and depression. He watched him become a stunt diver at the Sydney Royal Easter show, supported his fight back into the sport and now to win Olympic gold.

I find it hard to express the extent of my admiration for his having overcome such hurdles, whilst remaining so thoroughly himself at the very highest level of his sport. There are precious few out gay people in sports, and as I mentioned in my previous post about him, the example he’ll undoubtedly provide to younger people, both gay and straight is monumental. It took me until this year to find another gay man my age whom I could look up to as an example of the type of person I wanted to be, and it’s exciting to think how many lives Matthew could influence positively by his example. Long may he and Lachlan stay as cute as they are too! Speaking of whom…

Here they are eating Golden Gaytimes. Perhaps the irony can be seen in their cheeky expressions…? An Aussiebums ad featuring Matthew has also come up in the last couple of days. Enjoy!

Advertisements

22 responses to “More Matthew Mitcham

  1. Damn they are both so cute together, le sigh, damn sexy Australians with their sexy accents.

  2. You are so true ! We need more example like him ! Great great great ! I love him. From Belgium, Robert.

  3. Yes Jason I agree with you. the emerging story of this guy has been a truly heart-warming and full of positivity, affirmation and love. Furthermore, your post is so warm and inspiring – I think I’ll spread the love and do a little post myself.

    I say it every time (I don’t get chance to comment on everything but I read it all via my feed), your whole blog is an inspiration.

  4. Here in America, my husband and myself watched with baited breath as Matthew dove into Olympic history….not having a clue beforehand of who he was, and we
    cheered him on as each dive he did leading up to the last dive, just got better and better
    and when he hit the water on his last dive, with almost no splash at all….i let out a little scream, and i think my husband said, “holy &*^#.” we clapped, and i was crying, cause he was crying. My husband got up and stood in front of the tv, when they replayed the dive, so he could marvel up close, just how beautiful and perfect it was. Then we waited, and waited, and waited for an interview…the medal ceremony….mention of what an AWESOME thing we just witnessed, but we got nothing. I was pissed (mad) then, and i’m still mad, and anyone who doesn’t get how he was robbed of having a really big deal being made about him, and of the GREAT thing he did…..just doesn’t get it.

    It’s beyond him being the only openly gay athlete, at the games….which was his first
    awesome achievement, he won a friggen Gold Medal…..against the Chinese…in China. He got an historic score….against the Chinese…in China!!! NBC, should be ashamed of themselves. All the hours they spent on ONE swimmer…..his mother….what was on his ipod….what he ate for breakfast…who he may or may not be dating…how many times he flapped his arms before every start etc etc etc…..they could have spent five minutes on Matthew Mitcham, and let his country, family, and friends at home see him get his well deserved Gold Medal.

  5. I read that Lachlan is 36. Matt Just turned 20. They’ve dated for over 2 years. What is the legal age in Australia?

  6. I allowed this post because I believe in keeping homophobia visible. It gains energy by getting ignored or brushed aside, and legitimised when people actually argue back to snide remarks like this one, believing it to be a remotely valid question.

    Brian I’m sure you already know the answer. If you’ve taken offence to their relationship you really ought to just come out and say so, rather than hiding behind cowardly replies. I’m not sure why you think their relationship is your business, although it was nice to see the age gap confirmed – my partner and I have the same age gap between us too!

  7. cosmodaddy. Chill dude. I was asking two real questions. 1) is he 36 2) what is the legal age of consent in Australia.

    They are such a cool couple I hope they don’t get crap for the realities of things.

  8. Brian, the answer is easy to find if you Google.

    Link: http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/cpd/ll_samesex.nsf/pages/samesex_consent

    I have no idea how old Lachlan is, but I think it’s irrelevant. As long as they’re happy together, that’s fine with me. 🙂

  9. But I don’t get why you’re even asking the question. What’s the answer got to do with anything? You’re talking about two adults here.

    And if you really need to know the answer, it’s dead easy to find out on the web yourself. But I haven’t a clue how you’d apply it to two people you don’t know anything about.

    Seriously I don’t know you, so I don’t know whether you’re gay, straight, really asking legitimately out of concern, or have prejudices you aren’t aware of. But either way I think it’s demeaning (intentionally or not) to be asking about whether or not the age of consent got broken early in their relationship. That’s not what his story, nor theirs, should be about – this is a 20 year old Olympic champion – why not just celebrate the reality of his example and the respectability of their relationship?

  10. I asked becasue this si a gay site, where people post comments and reply to one another. You had pics nobody else has, I thought you knew them.

    Doesn’t matetr to me if they met when Matt was really young. But then I’m gay and I have no troubel with gay relationships. Some stupid angle about Matt dating a guy when he’s underage will be something he doesn’t need and it will overshadow his diving accomplishment. Maybe that is why the mainstream media didn’t cover the rleationship?

    And Matt is an adult now. THAT is why I wonder what angle can be takedn about when it started. Looking at the link provided it’s a non-issue. He can date a guy in his 30’s when he’s 16 or older.

  11. “Some stupid angle about Matt dating a guy when he’s underage will be something he doesn’t need and it will overshadow his diving accomplishment”

    You’re right Brian, he doesn’t need it but you’re the one trying to bring it (whatever it may be) to the forefront.

    In answer to your question, though. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a legal age restriction on dating.

  12. I just caught this on Matthew’s site, thought his fans might be interested and might help him out:

    Unfortunately several of the images submitted and displayed in good faith on this site of Matthew were in fact owned by Getty Images. The administrators of this site had tried to work with Getty to allow the images to be displayed here for you to enjoy. As you are aware, may elite athletes do not make large amounts of money. Their sacrifice is for their sport, and when they are fortunate enough to make it to the Olympics – it is for their nation. Getty images wanted to charge in excess of $49 per image here, and only permit access for three months.

    Firstly, if you wish to contact Getty Images in support of having them allow Matthew’s images to be displayed on his own site – their generic email address is info.asiapac@gettyimages.com

    Secondly, if you have images of Matthew that you know are available for us to use – please contact the site administrator

    Here is the link to the area on his site where I viewed the above:
    http://www.mattmitcham.com/about/photos/view/1.html

  13. I can only endorse everything said about a truly remarkable young man who has exhibited such joy on his achievements in his sport and in such a humble manner. IMy daughter and I couldnt help but be caught up in his enthusiasm during the event and in the wonderful way he conducted himself afterwards. He is a shining example of what youth and sport should be all about, all success to him in both professional and private aspects of his life.

  14. Great couple, great athlete, awesome that Aussiebum supports him.

    And because I can’t resist picking the nit: it’s really too bad Aussiebum didn’t spell check their ad copy. (@ 1:00 – how do *you* spell Beijing?)

  15. There is no way Lachlan is 36. That has to be an internet rumor.

  16. I don’t care about their ages or when they started dating. I think all this and on AfterElton.com is just distracting. I want to say I agree wholeheartedly with CandiPearl that NBC should be ashamed of not giving more attention to Matthew. I could barely watch the games because of the constant coverage of almost exclusively American athletes. I think anyone who watches sports does so to see extraordinary performances, no matter what country they’re from. Matthew’s performance was for the ages and it should have been celebrated for what it was.

  17. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  18. NBC is a disgrace to the media – they dropped the ball.

    Best to Matthew and Lachlan always. “BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE”

  19. It’s been wonderful to see such an amazing performance from such sweet and charming guy. From reading a wide range of websites and message boards it’s obviously touched a lot of people.

    Thanks for putting up those lovely pics of him and his fella. Where are they from?

    In case you’ve not caught it yet, there’s a radio interview with him on the abc website, from an hour or so after the main event – http://blogs.abc.net.au/grandstand/2008/08/feature-inter-8.html

  20. Well Done Matt, you’re a star!

    Checkout this tribute video of Matt’s gold medal victory, it will give you shivers! Just out of this world.

  21. Pingback: GayestEver.com » » Gayest Week Ever for September 5th, 2008

  22. Pingback: Award-Winning Matthew Mitcham! « Cosmodaddy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s