A diver who achieved Olympic glory 15 years ago has now opted to join the content sharing platform OnlyFans.
At the age of just 20, Matthew Mitcham reached the pinnacle of his sport at the 2008 Beijing Games, beating silver medallist Zhou Lüxin and Gleb Galperin to the top prize. The diver made history by becoming the first Aussie in 84 years to clinch gold in the 10m platform event, registering what was then the highest-scoring dive of all time to win the competition.
Now, aged 34, the former diver who retired from the sport in 2016, has now decided to join the popular website OnlyFans. His British husband Luke Rutherford, who he married in 2020, is also on the platform. On Wednesday, he spoke with Seven’s The Morning Show, revealing exactly why he was joining OnlyFans. “The money, duh,” Mitcham said.
“But also, do you know that quote Moira Rose (from Schitt’s Creek) said ‘take a thousand naked photographs of yourself while you’re young and beautiful’, so I took 8000 just to be safe.
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"It was a pretty quiet period over Christmas and that got me through quite easily. It’s just another way for people to connect with me. I don’t do anything too raunchy. I just like to show off my beautiful body, which is very quickly becoming more of civilian body than an athlete body but people want to see it.”
This move comes seven years after finally getting clean – having previously suffered a chronic addiction to crystal meth in 2011. After achieving sporting success at a very young age, he suffered a 'post-Games comedown' – what is often referred to as 'Olympic blues', which was a key factor in his struggles.
The Australian, born in Queensland, struggled with depression during his teenage years, and became dependent on alcohol and binge drinking during his mental health battle.
“I would literally block my nose and drink, drink, drink because the aim wasn’t to get drunk, it was to throw up and pass out quicker than I did the week before,” Mitcham said during an interview with the BBC in 2021. “It was relief, escapism and a way of shutting my brain off for a few hours, but it kept escalating.”
He also opened up on his addiction with crystal meth in 2011 in the same BBC interview. “Knowing I would be drug-tested at every competition I would detox from drugs for the weeks before competing and I’d go through these horrible withdrawals.
“They were so bad that I’d promise myself with every cell in my body that I was not going to use again, but I couldn’t ever keep the promise. It got dark. My self-esteem was shattered, at times killing myself seemed like the easiest way to deal with this, but I finally took myself to rehab.”
Mitcham also battled with his sexuality and publicly came out as gay in the lead-up to the Games, before making history as the first openly gay male Olympic champion. Before making that decision however, the diver realised he was gay at an early age and felt ashamed of his sexuality.
For a long period of time he pretended to be straight around teammates, and even tried a method to eradicate homosexual thoughts and feelings. “I was so scared of it that I would actually tie a rubber band around my wrist and every time I had a gay thought I would snap it, to try and associate pain and suffering with the gay thought. To try and train myself out of being gay,” he said.
But since getting himself clean Mitcham is very pleased with his quality of life and proud of his achievements in the sport. “I’m really happy with how my life is,” the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion said.
“I’ve been hard on myself throughout my life, but I look back with kinder eyes now, and I’m proud of not only what I won but being able to do it all as an openly gay man, because of the oppression that is still felt in so many countries around the world. I’m pleased to have hopefully played a small part in that because visibility is so important.”
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