A young diver is said to be the first openly gay Australian athlete to ever take part in the Olympic Games.

Twenty year old Matthew Mitcham, who has qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games, has revealed that he is gay in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.

He also said that he has applied for a grant to take his boyfriend with him to China as his support person.

Mitcham almost didn’t make it to the Olympics; he quit the sport in 2006, saying at the time that he had lost his love for diving, before recently returning to the pool.

“I was a free spirit,” he told the newspaper. “It was a break for me to explore myself and get familiar with who I really was and to be happy with who I really was. Just being a happier person really radiates into other areas of your life.”

Mitcham is said to be a favourite to win a medal in the 10-meter platform dive.

According to only eleven openly gay athletes took part in the last Olympic Games in 2004 in Athens.

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