British swimmer Mark Foster announced
in an interview with The Guardian that he's gay.
Foster swam for Great Britain in five
Olympic Games. He was the fastest swimmer in Britain by age 15. He
was the flag bearer for Team Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics. He
broke eight world records and won six World Championship titles.
The 47-year-old Olympian, who retired
for the second time after the 2008 Olympics, said that he has been
dating men for the last 26 years.
Despite being open about his sexuality
in his personal life, Foster said that coming out publicly for the
first time had still brought him some anxiety.
“I was a bit nervous today but I kept
said. “I was tidying the house for you [he laughs]. I was a
little apprehensive but years ago I would have been fearful of how I
would be judged. Maybe that's me being older and having a long time
to get used to the idea.”
Foster said that a series of events –
a 4-month break from his partner and the death of his father –
pushed him to take stock of his life.
“I tiptoed around the issue for so
long,” he said. “I got really good at the dance of telling
half-truths. I’ve supported the Terence Higgins Trust, Stonewall,
Ben Cohen’s Stand Up to Bullying campaign. But I’ve always done
it under the radar. At the Sochi Olympics [in 2014] I did a piece for
Huffington Post. I was shocked by the treatment of gay people
in Russia and needed to say something – without revealing anything
about myself. So I half-said something. It’s always been
half-truths in public.”