Matthew Mitcham (born 2 March, 1988 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) is an Australian diver. He is the 2008 Olympic champion in the 10m platform, having received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. He is the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics, and was the only openly gay male medal winner at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
As a trampolinist, Mitcham represented Australia at the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2001, winning the double mini-tramp event. He also competed at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in 2003, finishing sixth.
From 2002 through 2004, Mitcham was a national junior champion in diving, winning the events in which he competed. Mitcham competed at the 2002 World Junior Diving Championships, where he placed 11th in the 1m springboard, 5th in the 3m and 16th in the 10m platform. In 2004, he won the silver medals in the 1m, 3m synchronized, and 10m platform events at the World Junior Championships. At the 2004 Junior Nationals, he won the 1m, 3m, and 10m and 3m synchro titles. At the 2004 Olympic Trials, he placed 3rd on the 3m and 10m individual events, 2nd on the 3m and 10m synchro events, and did not qualify for the Olympic team. In 2005, Mitcham won his first senior national title. He competed at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival, where he won the silver medal in the 1m with a score of 508.35, and won the 3m, 10m and 3m synchro (with Scott Robertson) titles with scores of 565, 555.8, and 316.23 respectively. At the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, he placed 12th on the 10m platform with a score of 560.73.
In 2006, Mitcham competed in the German Grand Prix event, placing 16th on the 3m and 6th on the 10m, and at the USA Grand Prix at Fort Lauderdale, placing 8th on the 3m springboard. At the Canada Cup he placed 26th on the 3m and won the bronze medal on the 10m platform. He represented Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, where he competed in the 1m, 3m, and 10m events. He placed 4th in the 3m and the 3m synchro with Robertson, and 5th on the 1m and 10m events.
Taking a break from the sport in 2006, he returned in 2007 and started to train under current coach Chava Sobrino at the New South Wales Institute of Sport. In 2008 Mitcham won the 1m, 3m and 10m individual events at the Australian Nationals. Later that year he won the 2008 Diving Grand Prix event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It's absolutely surreal. I never thought that this would be possible, I wasn't even sure of my medal chances at all. After I did my last dive and I saw I was in first, I thought, "That's it, it's a silver medal, I am so happy with this" and then I won. I can't believe it, I'm so happy.|30px|30px|Mitcham|Mitcham's medal was followed by the Australia Post issuing a 50 cent stamp of him. His stamp was issued on 26 September, one day after his victory.
Mitcham's partner, Lachlan Fletcher, attended the 2008 Summer Olympic Games as a spectator. His trip was sponsored by a grant from Johnson & Johnson's Athlete Family Support Program.
Mitcham gained media coverage as the first Australian to compete at the Olympic Games as openly gay at the time of his competition , though this was inaccurate, as Mathew Helm, who competed in the same event, was also out before the Olympics began. Other notable gay Australian Olympians include Ji Wallace, who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal in the inaugural trampoline event; however, he came out after the Games.
Prior to his 10m platform win, Mitcham was reported to be one of only eleven openly gay athletes competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, out of 11,028 athletes from 204 countries.
Matt's Next Act: Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham Wowed the World with His Come-from-Behind Win Last August, but Half a Year Later-And with No Major Endorsements to His Name Yet-He Is Ready to Prove That He's One Gay Boy Whose Gold Medal Is Much More Than a Flash in the Pan
Mar 01, 2009; [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] That's a pretty lofty accomplishment to ascribe to just anyone, especially a gentle, smile-prone...