Two openly-gay sportsmen have been selected to help carry the Olympic torch in the London 2012 Olympic Games torch relay.
Chris Basiurski, chair of the Gay Football Supporter’s Network (GFSN), and Tim Sullivan, chairman of London’s gay rugby team King’s Cross Steelers, will be among 8,000 people to carry the Olympic flame on its 70-day journey across the UK.
Basiurski (33) played for many years with London based LGBT team Leftfooters FC and sits on the FA Tacking Homophobia in Football Working Group.
He will carry the torch though the London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
“I am delighted and humbled at being chosen to carry the Olympic flame. For many years LGBT footballers have been on the fringes of society and at the GFSN we have worked hard to send out the message that football is for all regardless of sexual orientation,” commented Basiurski.
“When I first came out I remember being told by my University LGBT society that I needed to ‘drop the ridiculous straight obsession’ with football if I was going to be happy in the gay world. I am really proud that the GFSN has helped change this attitude and that the UK’s LGBT footballing community is so strong. I am very excited!”
Sullivan (51) who led the West Ham-based Steelers to become last year’s European champions in gay and inclusive rugby will carry the flame through Havering.
“I’m humbled. It really blew me away that my name was put forward, and to be selected is a really strange feeling. I think I’ve been chosen because the Steelers are so diverse as a team. We’re one of the nearest clubs to the Olympic Stadium, too, so I think they’re pleased to have a real local bearing the torch!,” he said, reports Pink News.
Over 37,000 people were nominated to become Olympic torchbearers for the upcoming Games.