After stealing the gold medal from heavily favored Chinese diver Luxin Zhou by setting a new Olympic diving scoring record, openly gay Matthew Mitcham did something unusual. The Australian diver rushed to his boyfriend for a smooch.

Mitcham smiled widely and raised his arms in victory as he accepted his gold medal at the 10m platform medal ceremony in Beijing. It might have been the elation of his come-from-behind victory, the thrill of denying the Chinese a diving sweep, or just impulse when after the ceremony he decided to storm the grandstand where his mother and boyfriend cheered on. Mitcham jumped over several empty seats, climbed up a wall, pressing a barricade into service as a step ladder upon which he stood to hug and kiss his mother, and then reached for a smooch from his boyfriend, Lachlan.

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 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.

While an online bio at NBC's Olympic website includes the fact that Mitcham is gay and his boyfriend was in Beijing, television audiences were denied that information. Several blogs, including and, felt the decision not to include a truthful on-air biography of the diver denied millions of people the opportunity to see an Olympic gay hero.

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.”