Questions have for some time been asked about why out gay Olympic diving champion Matthew Mitcham hadn’t yet secured a sponsorship deal since his historic triumph in Beijing. Well it appears he’s finally succeeded, and announced his deal with typical grace and honesty:
Mitcham’s year-long contract with Telstra is a “relief” for the diver who has struggled to attract interest from the corporate world despite his perfect-10 dive in Beijing.
He blames the current economic crisis rather than his sexuality for the sponsorship drought but is grateful Telstra has backed him.
“I was a little bit worried… so hopefully this will be a snowball effect, but I don’t want to count my chickens,” he said.
“If I can get the opportunity where I would be able to train without having to worry about paying the bills, that would be the ultimate goal.”
While refusing to reveal the dollar amount of the deal, Mitcham said it would be a “significant” help – without which he would find it difficult to continue the 11-session a week training schedule needed for the 2012 London Games.
Mitcham will represent Telstra at events and product launches, with the company describing him as a “positive role model for all Australians”.
Matt promptly then cleaned up at the Australian diving championships last weekend:
Matthew Mitcham, in his first competition since winning gold at the Olympics, won four diving titles at this weekend’s Australian diving championships. Mitcham won individual titles in the 10-meter platform and 1- and 3-meter springboard and teamed up with Grant Nel to win the 3-meter synchronized. Mitcham, who turned 21 on March 2, was phenomenal on the 3-meter spingboard, getting six 10’s in amassing 548.95 points. This was significant in that this was a higher total for his 10-meter platform dives, which had been his specialty.