Openly gay Australian Olympian Ji Wallace, 35, has publicly revealed his HIV status in a letter written to the Star Observer.
The gymnast and trampolinist, who won a silver medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is currently in the UK for the 2012 London Olympics. He wrote the letter after watching the Piers Morgan interview with Greg Louganis and Anderson Cooper’s recent coming out.
He had been contemplating speaking publicly about his status for some time.
“I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV,” he wrote
“I have never publicly disclosed this before but felt inspired by [the] interview… and by Anderson Cooper’s ‘coming out’ letter last month describing ‘value in being seen and heard’ in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.
“I too have been that victim of these atrocious behaviours. Luckily I managed to come through.”
“Being seen does have value,” he adds. “A voice does have value. I have the support of my boyfriend, my great friends and my loving parents. Many do not and this is, in part, for them.”
The athlete came out in 2005 as gay and in recent years Wallace has been working as a motivational speaker, personal trainer and has performed in the famed Cirque Du Soleil in their new show ZAIA, out of Macau, China.