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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations to Matthew Mitcham and Tom Daley
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/02/14
Last updated on: 08/04/14
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Congratulations to Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham on ending his Commonwealth Games gold-medal drought in Glasgow on August 1, 2014. Mitcham had joked earlier in the day when he won his sixth Commonwealth Games silver medal in the synchronized three-meter platform dive that at least the color suited his complexion. However, by the end of the day, he and Domonic Bedggood had won the coveted gold medal in the synchronized ten-meter platform dive, edging out the team of out English diver Tom Daley and James Denny, who won the silver medal. The following day, Daley won the gold medal in the 10-meter individual platform dive.

The achievement in the synchronized three-meter dive marks the first time in the history of the Commonwealth Games that two openly gay athletes have won gold and silver in an event. However, in 2010, three years before Daley came out, he and Mitcham finished first and second in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

As The Age reports, the Glasgow event came down to a thrilling final round of dives. Mitcham and Bedggood finished with 399.54 points, narrowly ahead of the English pair Tom Daley and James Denny, who finished with 399.36 points.

It was Australia's first gold, after two silvers and a bronze, in the diving competition.

Mitcham said, "I think maybe I attached a little bit more significance to this then what maybe other people might attach to a Commonwealth Games gold medal but having come second so many times I was kind of almost resigned to the fact that maybe I was just going to have a whole collection of silvers."

Mitcham came to prominence in the 2008 Olympic Games, when he stunned the world with his final dive in the ten-meter platform event. His nearly flawless execution of the extremely complicated dive earned him the highest score in the history of the sport and secured the gold medal.

As Linda Rapp notes in her glbtq.com entry on Mitcham, following the Olympics, Australians voted Mitcham the Sports Performer of the Year in 2008, and he shared the nation's Don Award (named for Australian cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman) with pole-vaulter Steve Hooker in recognition of sporting achievements that had inspired the nation. He was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Daley, who won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics is a popular television star in the United Kingdom.

In December 2013, Daley came out in the emotional YouTube video below. He subsequently revealed that he was in a relationship with American gay activist and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.

In the video below, made on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, Matthew Mitcham discusses his career and his aspirations.

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