Matthew Mitcham has credited coming out with helping him win gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Mitcham came out publicly two months prior to competing in Beijing.

The Australian retired Olympic diving champion told The Daily Telegraph that he worried about being rejected.

"It is certainly something I was afraid of. Even living in Australia, I was afraid of being ostracised and isolated and rejected and I guess things like these even help me to realize how much of a wonderful community we have and if you were to be ostracised by your country of origin, you are going to be accepted into a wonderful whole community,” he said. "I hope that gives people just a bit of faith and confidence."

“Speaking from experience, being an openly gay authentic me, that had the most profound effect on my self-esteem, which then had the most profound effect on my performance.”

"It meant I was able to be present in my training sessions, which means I was able to give myself whole heartedly to every session and I was able to focus so intensely on the diving because I didn't have any of this social interactional sexuality stuff going on in the background,” he added.

Mitcham, 30, is providing commentary for Channel Seven at the Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia.