A swimmer on the US national team has come out as gay, and admitted that coming out was “really tough” for him, and that he was afraid of how his team would react.
Abrahm DeVine made his sexuality public in an interview with Swimming World Magazine, where he spoke about the challenges of being gay and involved in sport.
In the interview, he said that he was worried about what his teammates would think when they found out that he was gay, as there are few openly gay swimmers operating at an elite level in the US.
He broke the ice by first telling a former teammate, who he said “did a lot” for him “and was really there for me as a friend.”
He soon discovered that his apprehension about coming out to his teammates was unfounded, as everybody around him reacted well to the news.
In fact, his team were only upset to find out that he had been struggling with his sexuality, and that he had worried about how people would react.
He referred to it as an “emotional time,” but said that his team’s positive reaction to the news was “pretty special” for him.
“Just seeing them kind of prove me wrong was definitely special, something I’ll never forget,” he added.
DeVine is a senior at Stanford University, and the 22-year-old may still compete for a spot on the US’s 2020 Olympics team.
He is currently on the line-up for the national team and has competed at world championships.
Coming out can still be difficult for professional sport stars and athletes, and many have remained in the closet while operating at an elite level to avoid controversy.
Despite this, in recent years, a number of people working at an elite level have come out as gay, and have started to break the mould in the world of competitive sport.
Most recently, American football player Collin Martin came out as gay in July. The 23-year-old received broad support from his team, as well as from fans.
He even got a standing ovation when he joined his first game after coming out, with some in the crowd waving rainbow scarves.
Meanwhile, Tadd Fujikawa came out as gay just last week, and became the first male professional golfer to come out as gay.