London 2012: Nathan Adrian Wins Swimming Gold, Matthew Mitcham Plays the Waiting Game

U.S. swimmer Nathan Adrian celebrates after scoring gold on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 at the 2012 London Olympics.

Another Olympics is taking place, and I can’t believe that some of the posts I wrote four years ago are still getting tons of hits.  Two of my favorites from the Beijing 2008 Olympics are still going strong.  Nathan Adrian won gold yesterday by beating out the favored James Magnussen of Australia in the 100-meter freestyle.  If you want more of Nathan, follow him on twitter (@nathanadrian).

Out diver, Matthew Mitcham, from Australia, who won gold in the 10-meter platform in 2008, is still waiting his turn to compete, but he is already in London and tweeting big time.  His event start on Friday, the 10th.  He’s a fun guy to follow (@matthew_mitcham) and frequently add pics to his tweets.  He’s recently shown his musical talent by posting a video on youtube. 

What I wrote about Mitcham four years ago still holds true.  Read it here.

Trip to the Outhouse–Blogging, Four Years and Counting . . . and It All Started with Hurricane Ike and Matthew Mitcham

Matthew Mitcham, having fun, before the start of the 2012 London Olympics (photo @matthew_mitcham)

It’s hard to believe that four years have gone by since I first started this blog.  It’s doubtful that I would have put in this much continued effort were it not for two big topics that I blogged about back in 2008, the devastating Hurricane Ike, which passed through southeast Texas, and gay Australian diver, Matthew Mitcham, who was a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics.

There’s not that much evidence of the extensive damage that Hurricane Ike caused, even when you head down to hard-hit Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.  Galveston, though still trying to recover population numbers, is once again bustling with out-of-state tourists and day-trippers from nearby Houston, who are attracted by the warm water, great restaurants, and new entertainment venues.  If you take the ferry and cross to Bolivar Peninsula, you pass by new sub-divisions of beachhouses, most of which rise high off the ground to protect them from rising water.

When it comes to the second topic, Matthew Mitcham is back, once again competing in olympic diving, this time in London.   After winning his gold medal in the 10 meter platform dive, Mitcham, at age 20, became one of the most–if not the most–well-known out gay athletes in the world.  For some so young, being such a worldwide celebrity might have been a heavy load to carry.  However, Mitcham, as athlete, activist, and product spokesperson, has worn all of his hats well, and once again is back competing in the London 2012 Olympics.

While this blog attracted many readers because of my telling of the events happening to me personally and that of Houston during Hurrican Ike and the days after, thank goodness there has not been another hurricane that has headed our way in these past four years. 

On the other hand, my blogs about Mitcham’s victory in the Beijing 2012 Olympics still bring readers to this site, showing that he’s still–if not even more–popular.   I still admire Matthew Mitcham, not only because he’s such an amazing athlete and role model, but also that in spite of his célébrité, he has been able to keep a good sense of himself and just be a normal early-20s guy.

Check the early posts (2008) for more about Hurricane Ike and Matthew Mitcham on this blog.  Also a good way to keep up with Matthew Mitcham is through Twitter (https://twitter.com/matthew_mitcham), where he posts lots of photos.

Delhi Commonweath Games: Matthew Mitcham Gets Silver in 1-Meter Springboard, Looks Forward to Wednesday

Only because of listening to the BBC on KUHF ( Houston’s local public radio station) in the morning on my way to work did I hear about the Commonwealth Games 2010, taking place in Delhi, India.

Diving Determination--Matthew Mitcham at the Dehli Games (SMH photo)

The event is a sports competition among many of the countries which were once under the control of the British crown and takes place every four years.  The sports include many of those seen at the Olympics, but some appear to be those that would go with a “spot of tea”, like cricket and lawn bowling.

I was curious to see if Matthew Mitcham, Australia’s gay diving sensation, would be taking part, and, indeed, he is.  In fact, in today’s 1-meter springboard, he took the silver medal to Canada’s Alexandre Despatie. Mitcham will compete again on Wednesday in the 10-meter platform, the event which put his name on the map with the Olympic Gold Medal win in 2008 in Beijing.

Update (Wed. Oct. 13th):  Matthew Mitcham finished second in the 10-meter platform dive to England’s 16-year-old Thomas Daley.  According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian “scored 509.15 points to claim his fourth silver of the Games and finish shy of 16-year-old world champion Tom Daley (538.35 points), whose sublime performance included one dive that earned perfects 10s across the board.”

Watch Matthew in a promo for the Dehli games:

Catch All of the Action at the Gay Games VIII in Cologne; Matthew Mitcham and Other Star Athletes Add to the Limelight

Michelle Ferris, Matthew Mitcham, Leigh Ann Naidoo, and John Amechi meet the press in Cologne.

Matthew Mitcham and several other star athletes have arrived in Cologne, Germany to be part of the Gay Games, which are set to start, today, July 31st.  Mitcham, from Australia and gold medal diver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, joined former NBA player John Amechi from Great Britain, cyclist Michelle Ferris also from Australia, and beach volleyball player Leigh Ann Naidoo from South Africa to be part of the sporting event, which has gay athletes from all over the globe for the 2010 Gay Games VIII in Germany.

Mitcham hits Cologne with the "scruffy look".

While Mitcham won’t be competing in the games, he will be giving an exhibition of his diving skills from the 10-meter board.

More than 10,000 participants are expected to parade into the RheinEnergie Stadium later today for the opening ceremonies, which will be headlined by singer Taylor Dayne performing “Facing a Miracle,” which is the theme song for this year’s games.  Check it out here.  I’m sure she’ll have the whole stadium dancin’.

Catch live streaming video and everything else that’s happening at Gay Games VIII here.

Matthew Mitcham, Getting Funky, and Wins Another Gold in China, Soon To Be in Cologne for Gay Games

Matthew Mitcham and Funky Trunks

Over the weekend, the Australian diver, Matthew Mitcham picked up his second gold medal in China.  The 10-meter winner of the Beijing Olympics this time grabbed the gold in the same event in the FINA World Cup in Changzou, China, once again beating out Chinese competitors for the top place.

In other Mitcham news, the Gay Games will be starting in Cologne, Germany at the end of July and the Olympic Gold Medalist will be attending.  However, Mitcham will be there in support of the the games themselves, making appearances, but not competing.

Perhaps he will be appearing in his Funky Trunks . . . because the Australian diver has signed on to become a spokesperson/model for the swimwear company that like Mitcham hails from the “land downunder”.

I Want My Gay TV: Check Out “Botineras” from Argentina

I have to admit I haven’t kept up with any regular series much this season.  Tonight I caught most of “Brothers & Sisters”, which I had watched religiously through the first two seasons.  It’s still a good show, but there’s a predictability to it.  It’s nice to see Kevin and Scotty’s storyline given equal status to all the others, but something pretty big is going to have to happen before the end of the season; otherwise, I’m ready to call this one “stale”.

Every time I click over to Logo, either it’s current re-runs of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” or re-runs of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, something I never watched even when it came out.  The second season of “Drag Race” is probably one season too many.  It was something unique in season one, but more of the same just hasn’t pulled me in this go-round.

 

Manuel (Cristian Sancho) and Lalo (Ezequiel Castaño) in "Botineras" from Argentina

 

Something that I hope will be syndicated here in the U.S. on Spanish-language TV is a soap opera (telenovela) out of Argentina, called Botineras.  I just ran across some clips on youtube and with a little further digging found out it’s a show that started last fall and centers on the story of a professional futbol (soccer) team and, of course, all of the intermingling lives.  One of the stories is the gay romance between, Lalo and Manuel, two of the players, one of whom is married.

Several people have posted clips containing the Lalo-Manuel segments on youtube.  So far, there are 15-18 parts, depending on who uploaded them, but they are found in different places.  Start here for Part 1 just in Spanish.  If you want to see it with English subtitles, go here.  I only found the first 8 parts subtitled so far.  I found Parts 14 and 15 here and here.

I’m going to try to embed Part 15, which is recent.  If you watch 15, you’ll be hooked and want to go back and start over with Part 1.

So who’s going to call Telemundo or Univison to get them to syndicate this show here?

Matthew Mitcham’s Skin on Canvass, Now Displayed in the Australian Portrait Gallery

Back in the news again is Matthew Mitcham, not because of his diving feats, but because noted Australian artist Ross Watson has stroked the 2008 Olympic Diving Champion’s likeness onto canvass.  Watson, whose paintings place popular male personages into his take on Italian masterpieces, has painted the image of Mitcham into the backdrop of Venetian painter Ricci’s “Fall of Phaeton”.  The painting is now being exhibited in the Australian National Portrait Gallery.

You can see more Watson pieces of Mitcham and others at his homepage www.rosswatson.com and Watson’s photos of Mitcham, which he used to prepare for the painting.  Check for more on this at advocate.com.

Britain’s Hope for the 2012 Olympics Outshines Mitcham at World Diving Championships in Rome

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Daley of Great Britain wins the 10-meter at the World Diving Championships

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Daley of Great Britain wins the 10-meter at the World Diving Championships

For all those enamored with the golden boy of the Beijing Olypmics, out diver, Matthew Mitcham, there may be a new name in town. 

The new guy hails from Great Britain and is just 15 years old.  He’s Thomas Daley, and today the young man defeated a couple of Chinese divers and Australian Mitcham to win the gold in the 10-meter platform at the World Diving Championships at the Stadio Del Nuoto in Rome.

According to KXMB News, “Daley received three perfect 10s and three 9.5s for his final dive Tuesday, barely rippling the water as he sliced through. His winning total was 539.85 points.  Then he watched his main rivals falter on their final attempts.  Qiu Bo of China had a poor entry and finished second with 532.20.

Mitchem, winner of the gold in Beijing, dropped to fourth after botching his dive.

China’s Zhou Luxin took bronze with 530.55, just ahead of Mitcham at 529.50. American David Boudia was sixth.”

Mitcham had this to say about Daley in an article in a Sydney Morning Herald article,  “I really do [support him]. He is a very talented and very well-mannered, polite and friendly young man. . . . I think he could take over the world if he wanted to. He is something I have never seen before. I respect him.”

Britains seem all agog over their new diving star and are hoping for a gold medal in diving in the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London.

Mitcham fails to medal in the 10-meter dive.

Mitcham fails to medal in the 10-meter dive.

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See more links to Matthew Mitcham here.

New Matthew Mitcham Story Hits the Stands: Olympic Win and Life After the Olympics

matthewmitcham122It seems like there’s an Aussie invasion, with at least five “down-under” friends at our little dog park most evenings and a new hire at work. That “shrimp on the barbe (or is it “Barbie”?) accent is everywhere.

As you can see (as if you’re actually reading this), there’s set to be another Aussie invasion of sorts as Olympic gold-medal winner, Matthew Mitcham, is featured on the cover of the next of issue of The Advocate. (Thanks to Towleroad for this heads-up.) The article, written by Nicholas Fonseca, gives readers an insight into the young Australian’s story, both growing up as a self-aware gay boy and his current rigorous routine as an dedicated athlete, who still follows a strict training regimen. Says Mitcham, remembering being the subject of taunts as a schoolboy, “We all got it . . . I was just so open . . . . It was like it was no fun to call somebody a homo who really is a homo.” Other great photos of Mitcham by Adam Pretty accompany the article.

newmitcham000111The Advocate should be getting lots of extra print runs on this issue. This guy has been popular all over the world since his gold-winning dive in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. No doubt The Advocate will be pulling in more subscriptions from all over the world thanks to just this cover.

There’s a lot more about Mitcham at advocate.com, including a video of Mitcham taken during the interview.

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Check out more posts and photos of Matthew Mitcham: (A), (B), (C),(D), and (E).

Matthew Mitcham–Now There’s a Picture I Would Hang in My Locker

On Saturday, when I first saw the results of the 10-meter platform dive, I decided to post the results here because I was excited about it, but I thought only the few people who read my blog would see it. Then ka-boom. I see the counter showing all these hits. At first, they were just mostly from Australia, then some from the US. By Sunday, the counter started spinning off its wheels (my blog’s wheels usually turn pretty slowly). I was getting hits from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Panama, Turkey, Russia, even the Congo! I couldn’t believe it.

Then I started to realize that there were lots of people excited about Matthew’s win. I’d read the article in the Advocate about him earlier, and was hoping he’d get some kind of medal. However, knowing about the prowess of the Chinese in diving and the fact that the Olympics were being held in Beijing, I didn’t figure that anyone really had much of a chance against them–for sure, not the gold. Then there on Saturday morning (at least Saturday morning Houston time), here’s this young gay guy from Australia standing on the podium receiving the gold medal!

I had my own emotional moment, and proceeded to write the results here.

Mitcham receives congratulations from his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher after receiving his gold medal in Beijing.

Unfortunately, we here in the US (I don’t know about other places) didn’t get to see him give his honorary roses to his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher in the stands, nor did we see the interview after his win with his mother and Lachlan at his side. Nor did we get to see one of the nicest moments, when he rested his head on Lachlan’s shoulder for a moment. Not that any of this was out of the ordinary, for a winning athlete to have his loved ones at his side after the victory. But rare, indeed, and truly wonderful for a gay athlete to be able to acknowledge and be acknowledged by his loved ones on camera. For me, it was one those great moments.

I hope it’s going to be one of those pivotal events that makes changes–changes for a lot of people, especially young people. It’s time for them to have a hero–these kids in school who catch all the flack because they’re gay, or even just presumed to be gay.

Yes, there have been out gay athletes in the Olympics before. And, yes, there were a number of other out gay medal winners this year in Beijing–all in team sports and all women, and they are to be congratulated and greatly supported, as well they should be. However, this is a situation comparable to the one in show business. It’s great that Ellen Degeneres can dance across the stage on her award-winning talk show and get married to her girlfriend and have the whole world smitten. When Anderson Cooper or someone of the same ilk has the “cojones” to do the same, the other half of the gay population will have its day too.

I’m sure there are those out there who will say, “I don’t need a ‘gay hero’; I don’t need anyone famous to be “out” because I’m fine with myself. Anyway, it’s something private.”

Well, I admit I need it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. (I’m sure of that because of all the interest shown not only on this blog, but because of all of the articles about Matthew’s win published everywhere in the past couple of days.)

But even more so, kids need it. These kids that get called names, pushed around, or much worse–they need it. They need to see that it’s OK to be who you are, that it’s not weird to have the support of your boyfriend when you do something great or not so great, that you can be gay and have your parents be openly proud of what you do and who you are. I’m sure there are lots of gay kids with great supportive parents, but there are many who are searching for something positive–something that shows being gay is just one part of a person, and everybody can make goals and reach them, and still be a whole person, without hiding any part.

Because of that, Matthew Mitcham’s win has a greater importance than just that of his own personal success. I don’t know how many more athletes there will be coming out in the near future, but I’m sure his victory and example will be an inspiration to help open that door, not just for athletes but any kid.

I know if I were 16 again and still in high school, I’d stick a picture of Matthew Mitcham’s winning dive on the inside of my locker door.

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Read more about this Olympian: Matthew Mitcham Story About To Hit the Newstands: Olympic Win and Life After the Olympics

Check here if you’re looking for a photo of Matthew and Lachlan.