Olympian John Fennell has come out gay.
Fennell, a Canadian luge athlete who
competed at this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, publicly
discussed his sexuality for the first time in an interview with the
“It's something I was aware of, but
something I didn't act upon for a long time,” Fennell, 19, told the
paper. “It was something I tried to hide. I dated girls in high
He said he left his phone and computer
at home while in Russia out of fear he would be arrested for breaking
the nation's law prohibiting the promotion of “gay propaganda” to
“[W]hich was a testament to how
nervous I was going in,” he said. “I was a basket case going to
He described keeping his sexuality a
secret as “an all-consuming paranoia of who could find out through
Fennell responded to messages of
support. “I'm so blessed to have such positivity around my life.
There aren't words for this feeling. Thank you,” he tweeted to his
more than 1,200 followers.