Gareth Thomas’s decision to come out influenced Australian former Olympic gold and silver medal-winning swimmer, Dan Kowalski to declare his homosexuality in April 2010.
At the time, I wrote him,
Thank you so much for your inspirational editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald. Though I am not an elite athlete, like you, I too am a gay man, who long struggled to keep secret what now appears to be a minor part of who I am. We need to be open about our sexuality to dispel misconceptions and fears about gay men and women. And we need to be open to help others struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality.
I read your story on Outsports. As an American, I wish there were elite and professional athletes in American sports who had the courage to discuss their homosexuality publicly. If more and more do, homophobia will become less and less of a problem.
I wish you best wishes in your future. Don’t worry about ever being lonely again. Much good will come out of your story, and you have gained the admiration of many across the globe, including me.
I couldnt agree more with what you said, we do need more people, regardless of what their field may be or the success they achieved, just being able to talk about it is huge. I know with my platform I can use that in the right way and feel comfortable to do so.
Here’s to dispeling misconceptions.
So, Daniel Kowalski, thank you for your impact on 2010!
The photo shows Dan emerging from last January’s Lorne Pier to Pub swim.