Gay gymnast Heath Thorpe has Olympic dreams after big win


Heath Thorpe Australian gay gymnast
Image: Instagram

Gay Australian gymnast Heath Thorpe has qualified for his sport’s 2023 World Championships, as he and his teammates also set their hopes on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Last week, the Sydney-based 22-year-old and his national teammates very narrowly beat Team New Zealand to win the Oceania Continental Championships on the Gold Coast.

Heath placed first in his floor event, as well as second in the high bar competition.

“We did it! Team AUS are your 2023 Oceania Champions and with that have secured a ticket to Worlds!” Heath tweeted.

“It’s hard to describe how proud I am of each of these boys. It was a nail-biter but the grit, spirit and fight we showed tonight got us across the line.”

Heath Thorpe and his Aussie teammates – James Hardy, Clay Mason Stephens, Mitchell Morgans and David Tanner – now go to the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, in October.

The gymnasts hope to be one of the men’s teams selected for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Heath can also qualify individually.

Heath Thorpe says stereotypes persist in gymnastics

The athlete came out as gay in his sport at age 18 and remains one of the few active male gymnasts who are out. The Aussie has over 106,000 Instagram followers.

He previously told Inside Gymnastics that in the past few years he’s had to confront stereotypes in the sport.

“Outside of the gymnastics world there is a stereotype of men’s gymnastics being feminine or being seen as gay or girly,” Heath explained.

“We’re told that all the time as kids. When you say, ‘I do gymnastics’ someone replies, ‘That’s for girls.’

 

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A post shared by Heath Thorpe (@heaththorpe)

“So you’re told from a young age that the sport you’re doing is emasculating, essentially. I think in retaliation to that, men’s gymnastics has created this environment of hyper masculinity and heteronormativity.

“Artistry in the eyes of men’s gymnastics equals femininity and for some reason we see that as a bad thing.

“But in reality it requires so much work and time and it’s really hard to do it well.

“[Taking] away the space for any creativity… can be a really dangerous thing because it just becomes a sport about power tumbling.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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