Sunday, August 24, 2008

Awesome olympian of the day: Matthew Mitcham

Move over, Nastia, I have a new favorite person. That's Matthew Mitcham, the 20-year-old openly gay Australian diver who just won gold last night in a stunning upset over the heavily favored Chinese. I unfortunately missed his winning dive, apparently the highest scored in Olympic history, and for that I'm kicking myself. So I thought the least I could do now is give him a little shout-out on the blog.

In the semis two nights ago, Mitchem established himself as my favorite diver, mostly because he was the cutest one in the competition (I love Australians). He's also an exceptionally talented athlete. But I had no idea he was the only openly gay male athlete in the 2008 games. Major props for that. I mean, all the divers look gay, but you know... in athletics, that's not something you're open about. Unless you're Matt Mitcham, apparently.

There's actually a whole heartwarming story about how he nearly retired from the sport as a teenager due to problems reconciling his sexuality with his athletics, and then came back and trained hard to compete in Beijing. And then he won a GOLD medal (!!!) in the 10-meter final over the Chinese! And I missed it! WTF (luckily I caught it later online). But what's worse is that NBC never did any coverage of how he was gay, or what he went through in order to compete here. They just made some vague reference to "personal struggles." Lame. Big boooo to NBC. They cover European swimmers' love triangles, and volleyball players' struggles with early hair loss, but not this? Lame.

And when he won, it was SO emotional. Gotta love how the gays aren't afraid to cry. Lotsa waterworks. Big, shocking moment. Very touching.

Anyway, here's an interview with him afterward. Cute as a button:

Plus, he speaks French! How adorable:

UPDATE: Oh no! The video of him speaking French is gone! : ( But you can always watch the full 10-meter final on by clicking here.

To see all Mitchum's semifinal dives, without having to sit through others (since they're not as hot as he is), click here.

Click here (courtesy of commenter Alison) to see video of all Mitchum's final round dives, as well as the medal ceremony, where he prances around gleefully with the flag and even climbs up the wall into the stands to kiss his boyfriend and his mom. If you listen closely, you can make out what sounds like him saying, "Am I allowed to go and hug my mum?" And then he does! Spot-on adorable. There's also a story on what his victory means for gay athletes everywhere. Highly recommended.

For more info on LGBT olympians, click here.

And for more pics of Mitcham to ogle, just look below:

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Anonymous Alison said...


thats a link to Matt's final 6 dives, the medal ceremony (go us aussies) and him running up into the crowd and kissing Lachlan.

Scroll down to the heading Video : Mitcham's 6 dives ; medal ceremony


and he really is adorable!

2:33 AM  
Blogger Glenn said...

Yeah, Matthew is a total babe :P

But, I was watching it live and omg total WOW moment. The highest scoring dive in Olympic history! the fact that he's gay is just icing, really. He's so amazing.

8:06 AM  
Blogger adam k. said...

I'm so glad you saw it!!!

I'm so sad that I missed it live. I went to go do something expecting to catch the end of the competition and then got back and it was over! They're so short. But then I'd seen it, I may not have checked later to find out who won, and hence found all these articles about Mitchum. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Gotta find a silver lining in there.

The gayness IS icing, I loved him before I even know (though you can kind of tell), but his whole story makes it so much more awesome. And I can't relate to him as much in the Australian way, so I just have the gay thing, plus the fact that we're both blonde : )

He really is amazing.

8:21 AM  

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