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Old 08-24-2008, 11:37 AM   #41
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What about NBC not mentioning it? Not showing his family and partner when they show the others? He was great, one of the best performances I've seen in these Olympics.



Saturday, Aug 23, 2008 5:02 pm EDT

Openly gay diver wins gold

By Maggie Hendricks

Diver Matthew Mitcham, the only openly gay male athlete in the Beijing Olympics, won gold in the 10m platform. He beat Chinese favorite Zhou Luxin by 4.8 points, preventing China from sweeping gold in diving events. Mitcham is the first Aussie to win diving gold since 1924, but that's not the only thing that makes him a trailblazer.

He is hardly the first gay athlete to compete but he is one of the first to be out while competing. American diver Greg Louganis did not share his orientation until his diving career was over. To Mitcham, he is just living his life as a gay man and as a diver, and there is nothing extraordinary about that:

“Being gay and diving are completely separate parts of my life. Of course there’s going to be crossover because some people have issues, but everyone I dive with has been so supportive."

Though he wants to be known as more than a gay man, the LGBT community is proud of their star. At OutSports, a sports Web site that focuses on the gay community, his win is front-page news. The Web site brings up a good question -- will NBC mention Mitcham's orientation during tonight's broadcast?

To Mitcham, that doesn't seem to matter. He has gold, and has reached his goals: "I’m happy with myself and where I am. I’m very happy with who I am and what I’ve done.”

UPDATE: NBC did not mention Mitcham's orientation, nor did they show his family and partner who were in the stands. NBC has made athletes' significant others a part of the coverage in the past, choosing to spotlight track athlete Sanya Richards' fiancee, a love triangle between French and Italian swimmers and Kerri Walsh's wedding ring debacle.

http://outsports.com/olympics2008/20...ams-sexuality/
really great performance last night (televised last night, anyway) - good for him.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:45 AM   #42
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Thank god football season starts next week.

No gay football players?
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:55 AM   #43
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I don't know, I don't think anyhting should be made of him being openly gay when they speak about him. His sexual preferences didn't get him to where he is, and i don't think being gay is a hinderence that needs to be trotted out like 'oooh lookie a gay actually did something non gay like sport!'
We don't say 'ooh there is michael phelps, he is openly hetro, there are some sexy girls he might try to bang later...'
I just think being gay shouldn't be part of a person. Like Johnny Weir, why does he have to come out? Its no ones business but his own.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:09 AM   #44
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I don't know, I don't think anyhting should be made of him being openly gay when they speak about him. His sexual preferences didn't get him to where he is

I agree with that, but I also think it's a double standard to not show or mention his partner when they show and mention heterosexual partners/boyfriends/girlfriends (their orientation didn't get them to where they are either). Since he is openly gay it makes it appear as if NBC is trying to hide it somehow.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #45
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We don't say 'ooh there is michael phelps, he is openly hetro, there are some sexy girls he might try to bang later...'


like Stephanie Rice?
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #46
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I agree with that, but I also think it's a double standard to not show or mention his partner when they show and mention heterosexual partners/boyfriends/girlfriends (their orientation didn't get them to where they are either). Since he is openly gay it makes it appear as if NBC is trying to hide it somehow.


exactly.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:25 AM   #47
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It also makes me wonder what they would have done if Michael Phelps was openly gay
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:30 AM   #48
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It also makes me wonder what they would have done if Michael Phelps was openly gay


it's interesting, because i, for one, am fully convinced that his coach Bob Bowman is gay, and considering just how much of a fatherly influence Bowman has been in Phelps' life due to the absence of Phelps' father, i think it would make a very, very interesting story.

but, heck, even in swimming you can't really come out while you're competing. Ian Thorpe is all but confirmed gay, and yet he still denies it in the most roundabout ways possible. it's probably due to the endorsements that Canadian Mark Tewksberry lost when he came out after winning the 100 back in 1992.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:37 AM   #49
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Yes I'm sure that endorsements are still affected, which of course is unfair. How much money would Michael make if he was openly gay?

Maybe that will change one day. I still remember when Greg Louganis hid that he was HIV positive, then hit his head on the diving board. Was he openly gay before that? I can't remember.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:09 AM   #50
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Maybe that will change one day. I still remember when Greg Louganis hid that he was HIV positive, then hit his head on the diving board. Was he openly gay before that? I can't remember.


he wasn't "openly" gay, but everyone in diving and swimming circles knew he was gay. they didn't know he was HIV+ until he came out with his book in ... 1994?
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:41 PM   #51
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Yes I'm sure that endorsements are still affected, which of course is unfair. How much money would Michael make if he was openly gay?

Maybe that will change one day.
God I hope so - it just makes me all kinds of sad that we still live in an age when a persons sexuality determines / and or negatively impacts on the kind of success they can have

In light of this it will be interesting to follow the success of aussie dive gold medalist Matthew Mitcham who was, according to local aussie press, the only openly gay athlete at the games.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:46 PM   #52
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Yes that's who we were talking about on the previous page
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:51 PM   #53
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^oops - accidentally skipped a page
(makes mental note to self to read a thread in its entirety before posting )
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:49 PM   #54
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Perhaps because he was an Australian athlete (i.e. not an American athlete) NBC just didn’t give him the same kind of coverage?

For what it’s worth, on the Australian coverage of the event + interviews etc since, there’s been no hiding of his sexuality, but I actually had no idea he was the single only ‘out’ gay athlete at the games until reading this thread. The Australian media (what coverage I have caught about him), to it’s credit, has been treating him the same as any heterosexual athlete. His partner has been clearly identified and interviewed and they showed him running to him in the stands after the medal ceremony, but I haven’t heard any “openly homosexual diver Matthew Mitcham, the only gay in the village” sensationalistic type of thing, but of course I might have missed it all.

Ian Thorpe is a bit of a mystery really. I’ve got two personal stories: A girl I know who was left with absolutely no uncertainty one night about what Thorpie thought of her, and then an ex-boss of mine was married to a PR manager for a tv network Thorpe was contracted to, and at the time it was well known at said network that another front office worker there (male) was involved with him, for nearly a year, and quite openly as well. Both of these stories are from about 6 or 7 years ago.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:41 AM   #55
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I read that there were ten openly gay athletes at the Beijing Olympics, including two women on the Norwegian handball team who are a couple. I would imagine it's a bit easier to be openly gay in a more "obscure" sport.

Sure NBC didn't give him the same level of coverage, but that still doesn't explain the double standard. I would think that the families and gf/s bf/s of all gold medal winners merit the same kind of coverage-if you're going to focus on that and they did.

That woman he was hugging after he won was the writer who wrote the original article in which he came out publicly in Australia. Apparently he suffered from depression and other issues and wanted to quit diving. I think that makes his achievement even more compelling. How much that was related to any struggles with being openly gay, I don't know. I haven't read much about it. He did an interview with The Advocate, maybe it's available online.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:19 AM   #56
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I read that there were ten openly gay athletes at the Beijing Olympics, including two women on the Norwegian handball team who are a couple. I would imagine it's a bit easier to be openly gay in a more "obscure" sport.


in athletics, it's easier to be a gay woman than a gay man.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:24 AM   #57
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in athletics, it's easier to be a gay woman than a gay man.

Yes, I would imagine that's definitely true. Would that mostly be due to stereotypes that male athletes are expected to live up to? I would think so.
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