Before Tom Daley, there was out diver Matthew Mitcham, who won gold for Australia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the single highest diving score in IOC history.
It was an unforgettable moment—both for sports and LGBT history.
Sadly, the 27-year-old has just announced his retirement from competitive diving.
It’s official: I have decided to finally retire after a looooooooong but very rewarding diving career. So much gratitude to my long suffering partner Lachlan, Chava, NSWIS, DA, family, friends and all you friends I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet!
I remember the support I got when I came out before my Olympic debut in 2008 and it helped me to keep sharing my story just as candidly. So, it’s Peace Out to my diving career and a big Heeeeeeey to the rest of my media and entertainment and everything else career! Thank you to everyone for sharing in my [dirty word] journey.
Mitcham’s exuberance and sincerity was infectious from the get go, as he thanked his mother and his partner, Lachlan, for their support.
We’d never seen this kind of openness from an Olympic athlete, and it cemented Matthew Mitcham as a sports icon.
His retirement doesn’t mean Matthew will disappear from the public eye, though: He’s spent the last few years dabbling in sports and entertainment ventures, from Celebrity Splash to Dancing With The Stars, and even a stint as a local weatherboy.
Congratulations to Matthew as he takes the next step in his life and career.