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Thursday, 11 September 2008

Stamp of approval

Matthew Mitcham, the Olympic diving champion who dazzled the world with his winning dives at the Beijing Olympics last month, is to be given his own official Australian postage stamp (pictured).

Mitcham, who single-handedly prevented the Chinese from their expected clean sweep in the male diving events, achieved the highest score in the history of the Games! He is the first gay man to have been open and honest about his sexuality before competing in the Olympic Games and, consequently, the first out gay male Olympic champion.

Mitcham was not in the closet to his friends and family, but came out publicly earlier this year following discussions about how the decision might affect his chances of sponsorship. It seems that he needn't have worried.

Chris White, the manager of fellow Australian, swimmer Stephanie Rice, has stated that Mitcham’s sexuality won’t hold back his earnings potential:

It’s about consistency of performance and personality. Swimming is a sport with huge interest in Australia and sponsors are attracted to it.

And according to the Sydney Morning Herald, there has been a great deal of interest in Mitcham from those wishing to secure a deal with him.

You can read all our coverage of the Australian golden boy here.

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