ABOVE: Olympian Markus Thormeyer, photo via Instagram.
An Olympic athlete has come out as gay in an emotional online essay.
Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer, who competed in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay team in the 2016 Olympics, posted his coming out story on the website OutSports Wednesday, beginning his narrative by revealing that “the secret I was keeping” was “holding me back” when he began training with his team in Vancouver in 2015.
You’re on thin ice if you think Adam Rippon plans to rest on his laurels.
This year saw the good sport with the winning attitude take home a bronze Winter Olympics team event medal, get the gold (by coming in first on an athletes-only season of “Dancing with the Stars”), and shine, in the face of shade thrown from Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account. Having announced last month that his days as a competitive figure skater are over, Rippon is raring to parlay his recent comedic turn on “Will & Grace” into a robust acting portfolio.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump welcomed Team USA Olympic athletes to the White House on Friday, congratulating them on representing the U.S. at the 2018 winter games.
“You made us very proud,” Trump said to the rows of young men and women standing on the White House’s north portico in matching windbreakers. “You overcame setbacks, you powered through obstacles. And I will tell you this, because of your hard work and your sacrifice, you were given the greatest honor in sports: to represent the United States as an Olympic athlete.”
Fox News executive John Moody has retired from the network following outrage from his recent critique of the Winter Olympics.
“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,’” Moody wrote in the controversial op-ed last month.
Every four years, the world’s eyes train upon humanity’s greatest specimens with hope and awe. National pride and accolades rain upon those whose lifetimes are dedicated to representing fellow citizens. Thank goodness we have the international spectacle of the Olympics to distract us from the current four-year cycle of politics in America. Thank goodness we have charismatic stars like Adam Rippon to rally round. Thank goodness we can separate good citizens from bad regimes.
While we may have entered a new gilded age as expressed by the gold-plated largesse of a billionaire president, American oligarchs still look to international comrades—other oligarchs from Russia to the Middle East—for fraternity. We, the proletariat and middle class, are frozen out of corrupt markets that swirl around metals like uranium and black gold. The rest of us look on with disgust as those same oligarchic fraternities are openly hostile to their own Adam Rippons. Besides the Chechen LGBT purges and their “gay propaganda” laws, there are many reasons for Americans to be abhorred by Russian norms. Their systematic cheating in international sport is emblematic of their arrogance: sins against decency, if not against democracy.
The Olympics are coming to an end, and although politics are supposed to be set aside for the international games, they still manage to float up to the top and make headlines.
So it was no surprise when two openly gay United States athletes, figure skater Adam Rippon and skier Gus Kenworthy, made headlines right at the start of the games with an Instagram photo of them embracing at the opening ceremonies with a caption that included, “Eat your heart out, Pence.”
Gus Kenworthy sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to discuss being out at this year’s Winter Olympics, the inspiration behind his Head & Shoulders ad and Vice President Mike Pence leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympics.
“It’s going to be a different experience than last time around because I’m not in the closet,” Kenworthy says of being out for the first time during the Olympic games. “I just want to meet as many athletes as I can, get to enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies, [and] hopefully ski the best I possibly can.”
Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird has come out as gay and revealed she has been in a relationship with U.S. Women’s National Team’s player Megan Rapinoe since last fall.
“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. … These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird told ESPN. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret. That was never the case for me.”
One of the toughest experiences I had during my transition was coming out to my then very young son. After consulting a child psychologist on how to best handle the difficult situation, my ex-wife and I sat him down and tried to explain what was about to happen in terms that an eight year old could understand. It was truly awful in a way that I wish none of you ever experience. However, in the midst of the tears, my son said something that both shocked me and brought a moment of levity to the otherwise grim proceedings. He said, “But Dad, everybody knows that boys rule, and girls drool!” Looking back, I can chuckle a little at what was obviously a schoolyard lesson in gender politics that I’ve since done my best to correct. At the time though, I remember being taken aback, but nevertheless cracking a wan smile and wondering at how my son had managed to absorb assumptions of male superiority at such a tender age. Especially in a household that was quite liberal and emphasized equality.
Had I not been embroiled in the highly emotional situation of the moment, I would have remembered that socialization doesn’t just happen at home. We were not our son’s only teachers. Society plays a tremendous role through school, friends and media. As parents, it can be difficult to counteract some of the more pervasive messages our children take to heart, and sometimes we have no idea what is going on in their developing minds. That was certainly the case for me when I was growing up in ways I am sure my parents did not dream possible.
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