I mentioned Matthew Mitcham in passing, the Aussi diver who came from behind, pardon the expression to take gold over China at the Beijing Olympics. The 20 year old openly gay diver was the ONLY out male olympian at the games. He nearly gave up the sport after burning out, coming out and returning to the sport only to falter in his first event. A surprise rise to bronze , then silver only to capture the gold was a stunning upset. At the medal ceremony a teary eyed Mitchan climbed the stands kissed his mother and hugged his partner who have cheered him on from the audience. It was an Olympic memory for gays and lesbians everywhere to be proud. Too bad we didn't see it.
NBC cut the footage from their United States broadcast and have responded with a swift cold shoulder when pressed for answers on why his bio was not broadcast when so many "lesser" olympians' life story were trotted out ad-nauseam (or we just recapped wonder boy Phelps details again- no disrespect to Michael Phelps he's pretty rad) . NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes doesn't seem to like this line of questioning. When asked:
“In virtually every case, we don’t discuss an athlete’s sexual orientation."
NBC gushed over the personal details of many domestic and foreign athletes going so far as to discuss swimmers being dumped before the games and rumors of Olympic Village hook ups. Mitcham had to apply for (and was awarded) a generous grant from the Johnson &Johnson Athlete Family Support fund to pay for his partner Lachlan to travel to Beijing to be with him. a When taken to task for this Hughes responded
Not in every case. Not every athlete has a personal discussion. I could show you 500 athletes we didn’t show. We don’t show everyone. We don’t show every ceremonyNBC also rather abruptly ended discussion after asked why his story wasn't profiled when it was clears so important to so many, more so than some athletes as his performance was a historic one for openly gay athletes. He's a role model for young queer athletes the world over. That's somewhat more important than your average Olympian wouldn't you agree? Well NBC sports and Greg Hughes disagree snapping in retort
"How do you know that? How do you know that someone on the rowing team doesn’t have as compelling a story?”
End of discussion.
Thanks NBC. Thanks a whole fucking lot. Way to enjoy lobbing soft ball sub-par content (Will and Grace-no thanks) our way and enjoying our Neilsen numbers on sister network Bravo, but hey, no need to cover an inspirational moment in gay history, hell in Olympic history (he did after all come from 30 points behind landing a 112.10 point dive, THE MOST DIFFICULT DIVE IN OLYMPIC HISTORY!!!) .
so here's something NBC didn't show us, because, hey, who needs to see it.