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Canadian Olympic Swimmer Markus Thormeyer Comes Out As Gay

Welcome to the family, Markus!…
Canadian Olympic swimmer Markus Thormeyer has come out of the closet. Thormeyer, who competed in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay team at the 2016 Olympics2016 in Rio, has penned an emotional essay about coming out as gay for OutSports.
In the essay, he recalls the shame of hiding his sexuality from his teammates.
“I thought it would be easy for me to keep my sexuality a secret with my new training group, at least until the Olympic qualifications in April 2016. I was wrong. I found out pretty fast how hard it was going to be for me to keep not to come out to my teammates. The following months in the closet were difficult and keeping my sexuality a secret got progressively harder every day.”
“Hiding my sexuality became a huge distraction to my training and was starting to affect the relationships with my teammates too,” Thormeyer added. “Some days I dreaded going to the pool in fear that my sexuality would be exposed. I’d show up late and leave early to social gatherings and workouts. Some days it would even spiral and I would question why I was swimming and be scared of my own goals.”
He goes on to explain that he feared hostility from his teammates, or that he would lose a shot at competing in the Olympics. Eventually the stress took its toll on Thormeyer and led to an emotional breakdown. He decided to tell his teammates he was nervous about going on a date with a guy, and he was rewarded with “the best feeling in the world.”
“Knowing that I had such amazing teammates supporting me so strongly regardless of my sexual orientation was one of the best feelings in the world…There was no drama and it was exactly what I wanted.”
Thormeyer also says his swimming improved after coming out.
“My training got better, I got stronger and my technique got sharper. Not only that, but I also broke down some walls between me and my teammates and our relationships flourished. Training with them fostered relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Since coming out, Thormeyer has gone on to win the gold in the 200-meter backstroke and bronze in the 100-meter backstroke in the FINA Champions Swim Series in China. Ultimately, Markus decided to share his story to offer comfort to other athletes, and encourage them to come out too.
“I want to share my story and be able to spread the message that it’s OK to be gay. Life is much better when you fully embrace you for who you are.”
You can check out his full essay at Outsports.



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