Australian Olympic icon Matthew Mitcham is diving head-first into a career path few would have ever predicted for the 2008 gold medallist. The 34-year-old, inspired by the Netflix sitcom Schitt's Creek, has announced a shock venture into the world of OnlyFans.
Mitcham has lead a remarkable life since his retirement from diving in 2016, opening up about struggles with drug addiction that began in 2011, as well as discussing his shame over his sexuality after realising he was gay as a young man. Having managed to conquer his drug issues and remained clean since 2016, Mitcham is now turning over a new leaf.
Last year he married his partner, Luke Rutherford, and Mitcham is now also the ambassador for charity Controlling Chemsex, an organisation for people battling sex and drug addiction. Mitcham shot to prominence off the back of his history making performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He won the gold in the 10m platform, the first time at Australian had won the event in 84 years. Not only was it a historic occasion for Australian diving, but he also recorded what was at the time the highest scoring dive in the history of the event.
I’m seven years clean and sober today
— Matthew Mitcham (@matthew_mitcham) January 2, 2023
Mitcham was interviewed on Channel 7's Sunrise on Thursday morning, where he was asked about his motivation for signing up for OnlyFans. "The money, duh," Mitcham quipped in response.
“But also, do you know that quote Moira Rose (from Schitt’s Creek) said ‘take a thousand naked photographs of yourself while you’re young and beautiful’, so I took 8000 just to be safe.
“It was a pretty quiet period over Christmas and that got me through quite easily. It’s just another way for people to connect with me.
“I don’t do anything too raunchy. I just like to show off my beautiful body, which is very quickly becoming more of civilian body than an athlete body but people want to see it.”
Matthew Mitcham's remarkable story behind Olympics glory
Mitcham has previously discussed how he has struggled with his sexual identity for years before coming out publicly prior to the 2008 games, even detailing his attempts to 'train' himself to be straight as a teenager. This caused Mitcham to turn to binge drinking, despite not liking the taste of alcohol - simply drinking in order to pass out as quickly as possible.
“I was so scared of it that I would actually tie a rubber band around my wrist and every time I had a gay thought I would snap it, to try and associate pain and suffering with the gay thought. To try and train myself out of being gay," he said. “I felt stuck not being able to be authentically me.
“I didn’t want to admit I’d deceived people and lied for so long, which left me feeling alienated. Diving became this darkness which permeated the rest of my life. I really hated it.
“I would literally block my nose and drink, drink, drink because the aim wasn’t to get drunk, it was to throw up and pass out quicker than I did the week before."
After he quit diving at 18, Mitcham credited the LGBTIQA community in Brisbane for keeping him on track, before an eventual move back to Sydney re-opened the door to his diving career. Offered the opportunity to train and try out for the Olympic squad, Mitcham said he was motivated to quit drinking and get serious in order to be at his best.
It was in the lead-up to the Olympics that Mitcham revealed in an interview that he was gay, ultimately deciding to go ahead with the publication of an article revealing as much. He said going public with his sexuality was the 'best decision I've ever made'.
— Matthew Mitcham (@matthew_mitcham) February 8, 2023
“I was scared about the response, but going into the Olympics I didn’t want the Australian public to think of me one way – as straight – and then have to come out afterwards, feeling like I’d lied to them," he said.
“I thought it might mean I had no supporters, but the response was fantastic and I gained this enormous colourful worldwide community. It’s honestly the best decision I’ve ever made.”
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