Kiwi Olympian, Blake Skjellerup in an interview with DNA Magazine. The 24-year old says he waited to come out until after the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics because he wanted to have the focus entirely on his skating, and not have people focusing more on his sexuality. He wasn’t hiding it at the games, as he walked around the venue hand in hand with his bf, but he just hadn’t “officially” said anything.
That being said, he did visit the Pride House – and was also very surprised at being the only competing athlete to visit the Whistler meeting point.
“I was a bit shocked that I was the first competing gay athlete from these Olympics to visit, especially since I wasn’t able to make it there (owing to scheduling conflicts) until after I had finished competing. But it was great to see such a thing. If I had felt like I needed a space to be myself away from the Olympic village, it would have been there. I hope the idea can grow from Olympics to Olympics.
He also talked about stereo types and role models:
“Gays are too often given a stereotype. Back when I was 18, and becoming serious about my sport and my Olympic goals, if I could have seen an athlete like myself out there – with whom I could relate to – my journey would have been a lot easier.
Johnny Weir meets a specific stereotype, I meet a specific stereotype and Gareth Thomas meets another. Being gay is just like any other personality trait: it’s multifaceted. I can’t personally relate to Weir or Thomas, and nor will many other young gay athletes out there. But maybe some of them will see something in me to relate to. The more types we provide, the more we’ll appeal to people [who are struggling with their sexuality.”
Some great points.