Matthew Mitcham, the Olympic gold medal-winning Australian diver, says that he believes being openly gay has lost him sponsorship deals.

The athlete came out in an interview just before last year’s Beijing Olympics, where he made history by receiving the highest score for an individual dive.

He told the Daily Telegraph, “I haven’t experienced any homophobia in sport but I’m hoping I’m not experiencing any in the corporate world because I haven’t had any companies rushing to sponsor me.

“It took me a very long time to secure any form of sponsorship after the Olympics, and that’s still my only sponsorship.”

After Mitcham came out, he became somewhat of a gay icon since becoming the only non-Chinese diver to win gold in the Water Cube. He says that it is a responsibility he is willing to accept

“As soon as anybody looks up to you, you automatically become a role model whether you choose to be or not, and you can either embrace it or not,” he said. “I choose to embrace it and try to be the best role model I can be.”

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