Wow, what a spectacular way to close out the Olympics! Out & proud, gay Australian diver Matt Mitcham won the gold medal in the 10-meter platform event! An amazing moment in diving, (as well as gay), history!
Diving has always been my favorite sport in the Summer Olympics. I still remember clearly Greg Louganis's dramatic gold medal win in the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. And the 10-meter platform event is certainly the high-point of it all... the divers diving from a height of over 3 stories, twisting and turning so gorgeously in the air.
I'd heard about Matt before the Olympics began this year, (the Advocate did a cover story on him last month, telling about his coming out and his refreshingly non-chalant attitude about being openly gay in the sports world). I was very eager to see him dive in Beijing, and was hoping he'd do well.
Earlier in the week, he hadn't done well in the 3-meter springboard competition, but that event was not his specialty. I was hoping he could come back strongly in the 10-meter platform, and did he ever! In Friday night's semifinals, he was in third place, behind 2 heavily favored to win Chinese divers. But in the finals, he had some stellar dives which, in the end, pulled him into the lead. I realize I was probably supposed to be rooting for the two American divers, David Boudia and Thomas Finchum, (they finished in 10th & 12th place). They were actually quite good, too, and I look forward to seeing more of them. But Matt Mitcham felt like family, and I couldn't help but be in his corner from the start. When he clinched the gold medal with that final dive, wow... it felt like an historical moment. Electrifying. So cool!
Way to go, Matt!