Matthew Mitcham, the 20-year-old Australian diver that wowed at the Olympics in Beijing when he stole the gold from the Chinese, kicked off Sydney's giant gay pride parade Saturday, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras drew an estimated 300,000 people along its Oxford Street route to enjoy more than 130 floats representing a number of causes, including Surf Life Saving Australia, Taronga Zoo, and indigenous Australians. That's about the same number of people attending last year's festival.

Mitcham, now elevated to rock-star status, stood atop the first float to launch the parade surrounded by male dancers dressed only in swimming Speedos. The Olympic hero mistakenly outed himself when speaking to a reporter just weeks before the games but has since come to relish the attention of being the gold winning gay diver who kissed his boyfriend at the Olympics. (A dramatic moment NBC decided to edit out of prime time.)

What started 31 years ago as a gay and transsexual march for equality has blossomed into one of the world's most celebrated and lavish gay parties.

Along its main Oxford Street artery people had begun gathering six hours prior for a prime viewing spot. Police barricades held back thousands of revelers competing for the unofficial prize of most outrageous costume.

A float dedicated to the memory of slain gay politician Harvey Milk snaked its way through the streets of Sydney.

True to its activist roots, the parade was dedicated to the GLBT people around the world who continue to face discrimination and prejudice.

“We hope Mardi Gras can act as a beacon for our gay brothers and sisters everywhere,” Mardi Gras Chair David Imrie told reporters in Sydney.