Brazilian Olympic diver Ian Matos dies aged just 32

ian matos olympic diver
Image: Ian Matos Instagram

Brazilian Olympic diver Ian Matos died this week after almost two months in hospital with a lung infection.

The diver sought treatment for an infection in his throat nearly two months ago. The infection later spread to his stomach and lungs. After showing signs of improvement last week, his condition subsequently deteriorated.

Brazil’s Olympic Committee issued a statement regretting the death of the diver at such a young age.

“We are profoundly saddened to have received the news of the premature death of the Olympic diver Ian Matos, aged just 32.

“Team Brazil acknowledges his contribution to the evolution of the discipline.

“Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Ian Matos

Ian Matos first competed internationally at the 2010 South American Games where he won three bronze medals. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he competed in the men’s synchronized 3-metre springboard with Luiz Outerelo.

The diver came out prior to the Rio Olympics despite advice not to do so.

Inspired to come out following the example of fellow Olympic diver Tom Daley, Ian Matos confided to a friend he was gay. Advised to not discuss his sexuality before the 2016 Olympics to avoid losing sponsors, he ignored the advice.

He said the pressure of not being himself and needing to hide his boyfriends proved too much. Ian Matos then came out in a newspaper interview in 2014.

In November, as his condition deteriorated, friends organised a fundraiser to pay the travel costs of the diver’s mother and siblings so they could stay near him in Rio while he received medical attention.

His death comes just a month after fellow Brazilia Olympian, gymnast Arthur Nory Mariano, declared his sexuality in an Instagram post.

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