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A perfect 10 – Diving – Sports – Olympics – smh.com.au

24 Aug

Matthew Mitcham is inspirational.

matthew

From teenage retirement to Royal Easter Show high-diver to gay icon to gold Olympic medallist; Matthew Mitcham’s journey to success has been an amazing roller-coaster.

Mitcham’s pulled off a stunning final dive in the 10 metre platform, scoring an incredible four perfect 10s, to steal the gold off favourite Chinese diver Luxin Zhou. Mitcham finished with 537.95 points.

It was a massive upset defeating the premiere and form Chinese divers Liang Huo and Luxin Zhou in front fierce home crowd.

Mitcham, 20, battled depression, retired in his teenage years after physical and emotional burn-out, then just nine months later resumed his sport in 2007. Last night his triumphant return to the sport was crowned with gold…

One person who has been by his side for the entire tumultuous and now brilliant journey is his partner, Lachlan, he was in the crowd last night courtesy of a Johnson & Johnson Olympic sponsorship.

Mitcham is one of only a few “out” gay athletes in Beijing and the first Australian to openly declare his homosexuality going into an Olympics. He’s been a cover-boy for gay magazines and featured on the cult gossip website Perezhilton.com accompanied by the tagline: “Yum. Yum. Yum! Can we have a piece of that????”…

His rocky road to the top was worth it Mitcham said last night.

“Coming back and doing everything I did was to win an Olympic gold medal. When I was training every single day, twice a day, eleven sessions a week, thirty hours a week before every single dive I said to myself; ‘I want to win an Olympic gold’.

“It was all worth it.”

Congratulations to all the Aussie medallists. I have a faint idea of what it’s like for friends and family. 🙂 I will certainly never forget the Munich Games of 1972…

For a nation of 20 million we really have done well.

Some too will be taking comfort from another story in today’s Sun-Herald: Arts give sport a run for its money.

A NIGHT at the opera or a day at the footy? Sydney is a city spoilt for choice as millions attend sports and cultural events each year, and an increasing number of people are giving their patronage to both.

In an average week in NSW, more than 100,000 people attend a top-line live sports event and more than 2million people play organised sport. Meanwhile, 25,000 people visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales, more than 9000 go to the Powerhouse Museum and more than 6000 watch a Sydney Theatre Company production…

At the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) an exhibition of the work of Australian photographer Fiona Hall attracted more than 100,000 people, putting the organisation on track for one of its biggest years on record…

We don’t so often hear about this other side of our country though. Thought it worth noting.

— Pic from the Sydney Sun-Herald.

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Young Matty goes for Gold and GOLD ! from Volacious.net:

…I don’t know if he remembers me… I met him about 4.5 years ago up in Brisbane, when I went to see him and a friend of mine compete in a diving competition. I remember having a long chat to him and introducing him to my Dutch friend Patrick, to whom Matty took quite a liking to. A few chats on MSN after that, but lost track of him later down the track.

Working at the IBC (International Broadcast Centre), I thankfully have the opportunity to view every feed from every venue, before they go to the broadcasters like Ch7 or NBC. So I’ve been watching Matty’s dives in unedited HD, and after watching his prelims tonight I think he has a very strong chance of giving the Chinese a run for their money…

Not wrong, Gus, obviously. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, creativity, Gay and Lesbian, gay issues, inspiration, Olympics 2008, sport

 

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