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 busy,” he 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.”