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Matthew Mitcham

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Matthew Mitcham
OccupationOlympic champion, diver and trampoline gymnast

Matthew Mitcham (born 2 March 1988 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) is an Australian diver. He is the 2008 Olympic Champion on the 10m platform. He is the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics. He received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. Mitcham was the only openly gay male athlete at 2008 Summer Olympics.

Biography Edit

Personal life Edit

Mitcham was born in Brisbane, and lives and trains in Sydney. He came out of the closet in 2008 to the Sydney Morning Herald when they were profiling Olympic hopefuls.[1]

He was in a committed same-sex relationship.[1] Mitcham's partner attended the 2008 Summer Olympic Games as a spectator. His trip was sponsored by a grant from Johnson & Johnson's Athlete Family Support Program.[1]

Mitcham gained media coverage as the first Australian to compete at the Olympic Games as openly gay at the time of his competition.[2] Other notable gay Australian Olympians include Ji Wallace, who had competed for Australia at the 2000 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal in the inaugural trampoline event, and had come out after the Games.[3]

Following his 10m platform win, Mitcham was reported to be one of only ten openly gay athletes to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, out of 11,028 athletes from 204 countries.[4][5] Nine of those ten athletes were women, making Mitcham the only openly gay man to compete in the Games.[5][6]

CareerEdit

Mitcham originally competed as a trampoline gymnast. He was discovered by Wang Tong Xiang, a coach at the Australian Institute of Sport Diving Program, located at the Chandler Aquatic Centre in Brisbane's suburbs. Mitcham continued with both diving and trampolining for several years.

As a trampolinist, Mitcham represented Australia at the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2001. At the 2001 Championships, Mitcham became the World Junior Champion on the double mini-tramp. He competed at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in 2003 in trampolining and finished sixth.

From 2002 through 2004, Mitcham was national junior champion in diving, winning all events in which he competed. Mitcham competed at the 2002 World Junior Diving Championships, where he placed 11th on the 1m springboard, 5th on the 3m springboard and 16th on the 10m platform. In 2004, he won the silver medals on the 1m, 3m synchronized, and 10m platform events at the 2004 World Junior Championships. He won the 1m, 3m, and 10m individual titles and the 3m synchro title at the 2004 Junior Nationals. At the 2004 Olympic Trials, he placed 3rd on the 3m and 10m individual events, 2nd on the 3m and 10m synchro events, and did not qualify for the Olympic team.

In 2005, Mitcham won his first senior national title. He competed at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival, where he won the silver medal on the 1m board with a score of 508.35; the gold medal on the 3m with a score of 565; the gold medal on 10m with a score of 555.8, and the gold medal with synchro partner Scott Robertson on the 3m synchro with a score of 316.23. He competed in the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, placing 12th on the 10m platform with a score of 560.73.

In 2006, Mitcham competed in the German Grand Prix event, placing 16th on the 3m and 6th on the 10m. He competed at the USA Grand Prix at Fort Lauderdale, placing 8th on the 3m springboard. He competed at the Canada Cup, where he placed 26th on the 3m and won the bronze medal on the 10m platform.

He represented Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, where he competed in the 1m, 3m, and 10m events. He placed 4th in the 3m and the 3m synchro with Robertson, and 5th on the 1m and 10m events.

He took a break from diving in 2006. In 2007, he returned to the sport and started to train under current coach Chava Sobrino at the New South Wales Institute of Sport. In 2008, Mitcham won his three events at the Australian Nationals, clean sweeping the gold medals in 1m, 3m and 10m individual events.

He won the 2008 Diving Grand Prix event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[7]

2008 Summer OlympicsEdit

File:Matthew Mitcham 10m Beijing final.png

Mitcham represented Australia at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 10-metre platform and the 3-metre springboard events. He placed 16th on the 3m springboard and did not qualify for the final. He qualified in second position for the semi-final and final of the 10m platform event. After experiencing mixed success in his first five dives in the final, Mitcham entered the final round of dives in second place, 34 points behind Chinese diver Zhou Luxin.[8] After Zhou performed his worst dive of the final and scored 74.80, Mitcham still needed to score 107.30, a very high score on the platform, to win the gold.[8] However, his near-perfect final dive drew four perfect 10 scores from judges and achieved a score of 112.10, the highest single-dive score in Olympic history.[9] He finished with an overall score of 537.95 to defeat Zhou, who finished with an overall score of 533.15, to win Australia's second diving medal of the Games. His win prevented China from claiming a clean-sweep of all diving medals at the Olympic Games.[10] He is the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve in 1924.[11]

"It's absolutely surreal. I never thought that this would be possible, I wasn't even sure of my medal chances at all. After I did my last dive and I saw I was in first, I thought, "That's it, it's a silver medal, I am so happy with this' and then I won. I can't believe it, I'm so happy."

—Mitcham[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dennett, Harley. "A Backward Three–Somersault Tuck (With a Twist)", The Advocate. Retrieved on 2008-08-24. 
  2. Halloran, Jessica (May 24, 2008), “Out, proud and ready to go for gold”, Sydney Morning Herald, <http://www.smh.com.au/news/beijing2008/out-proud-and-ready-to-go-for-gold/2008/05/23/1211183107597.html>. Retrieved on 18 August 2008 
  3. Lane, Daniel (June 10, 2007), “Ji talking: on highs, lows and a super new move”, Sydney Morning Herald, <http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/ji-talking-on-highs-lows-and-a-super-new-move/2007/06/09/1181089387102.html>. Retrieved on 18 August 2008 
  4. Template:Cite press release
  5. 5.0 5.1 Buzinski, Jim (2008-08-23), “In Beijing Olympics, only 10 openly gay athletes”, Outsports.com, <http://www.outsports.com/os/index.php/Olympics/2008/In-Beijing-Olympics-only-5-openly-gay-athletes.html>. Retrieved on 24 August 2008 
  6. Sullivan, Andrew (2008-08-23), “Face of the Day”, The Atlantic, Daily Dish Blog, <http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/face-of-the--16.html>. Retrieved on 24 August 2008 
  7. Halloran, Jessica (May 13, 2008), “Mitcham on a roll after career backflip”, Sydney Morning Herald, <http://www.smh.com.au/news/beijing2008/mitcham-on-a-roll-after-career-backflip/2008/05/12/1210444339636.html>. Retrieved on 18 August 2008 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Beijing 2008 - Diving Men's 10m Platform Intermediate Results
  9. Sensational dive earns Matthew Mitcham gold medal in Beijing
  10. PerthNow - Australian diver Matthew Mitcham captures Chinese hearts
  11. Fox Sports - Sensational dive earns Matthew Mitcham gold medal in Beijing
  12. Sensational dive earns Matthew Mitcham gold medal in Beijing

External linksEdit


Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Matthew Mitcham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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