Australia's Matthew Mitcham stole the
gold away from the Chinese in the 10m platform event with a
perfect dive. The openly gay diver debuted at the Olympics on
Monday, when he competed in the 3m event.
Scoring an incredible four perfect 10s,
the twenty-year old diver stole the gold from favored Chinese diver
Luxin Zhou on Friday.
After his fifth dive, Mitcham was set
to win the silver medal, behind Zhou. But Chinese hearts were broken
as Mitcham made his final plunge – a brilliant dive that broke
Olympic scoring records at 112.10 – and stole the gold for
Mitcham came out in May when The
Sydney Morning Herald asked whom he lived with. “I hadn't
planned to do it all,” Mitcham told the Advocate. “It was
just a question and it went from there.”
Mitcham, who has been competing since
the age of 11, gave up the sport for six months two years ago when
health issues and a heavy academic load overwhelmed the athlete.
“I had too much on my plate,” he
told the Advocate. “Going to the Olympics was always a
dream of mine, even winning a medal, but at the time my personal
needs far outweighed the desire.”
At the start of 2007 – partied out
and with new boyfriend, Lachlan, in tow – he returned to diving at
the prestigious Sydney Aquatic Center.
The break payed off big time. In
January, Mitcham broke records by becoming the first Australian to
win the 1m, 3m and 10m springboard titles. Then in May, he shocked
the world by winning the 10m platform event at the USA Grand Prix in
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. On his fourth dive he scored four perfect 10s.
On winning the gold, Mitcham said:
“Everything absolutely everything has been for this. I knew it was
a far chance but I did everything, absolutely everything I could to
give myself the best chance of doing it. It's actually happened. I
never thought it would.”