Interviewed last week by Gay Times, British diver, Jack Laugher, was warmly supportive of gay athletes and strongly critical of Russian gay repression. Before you check out his views, check out these stills from the Gay Times shoot.
Though still only eighteen, Jack is a popular guy with great potential in his sport, evidenced in his Gold Medal victories in the World Junior Championships in 2010 and 2012. Sadly he failed to make it to the semi-finals of the Olympics last year.
On gay athletes....
Asked if he would be comfortable as an openly gay diver, Laugher replied: “Yeah definitely! Any sport you should be able to be openly gay in. I have quite a few gay friends, just from school and people I’ve met through diving and my journey. Everyone should feel comfortable to be gay and be who they are.
He went on to define the fan base for diving. Yes, gay men are in there! “With diving it doesn’t really matter – you’ve got the middle-aged women and young girls anyway, and then gay men. That’s the entire fan base, and that following would be supportive.”
Going on to discuss the upcoming Sochi Olympics, the Yorkshireman, who is straight, said it would be wrong to boycott the Games in response to Russia’s anti-gay laws. “I think they’re absolutely disgusting; I really do not believe in their laws, I’ve read all about it and seen it on the TV and they’re so wrong.”
“You can’t cancel them (the Olympics) because people have been training for years,” he added: “There’s a lot of politics around the whole thing, but I think people should say something if they are thoroughly against it ... the actual Olympics are great – it’s where it is that’s the problem.”
He also said sport needed to treat homophobia as seriously as racism. “Sport should take it more seriously. It should be absolute – if you say something that can be offensive and someone could take offence, like racism, insulting gay people should be an instant ban or some kind of penalty so it just doesn’t happen.”
News update: 26 April 2014
Jack Laugher just secured his best result at a World Series as he finished fourth in the 3m Springboard at the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series in London.
The 19-year old finished sixth at the opening two legs of this year’s World Series in Beijing and Dubai respectively, but sailed past the 500 marker for the first time in his career to jump up the rankings on 517.60.
News update: 01 August 2014
Jack has continued his surge of great form with two Golds and a Silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Check out the Related Story below.
Lustralboy congratulates Jack on his recent success and welcomes his positivism. Now, with Tom Daley and Chris Mears, we have a trio of brilliant British divers to cheer for.
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