Gold Medal Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes: I’m gay

Dame Kelly Holmes

Olympics superstar Dame Kelly Holmes came out as a lesbian today. The legendary athlete told the Sunday Mirror, “There have been lots of dark times where I wished I could scream that I am gay – but I couldn’t.”

Dame Kelly Holmes won gold in the 800-metre and 1,500-metre at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She still holds records for the 600 and 1,000-metre distances and held the British 800-metre record until 2021.

The athlete told the newspaper that her family and friends knew of her sexuality. However, hiding it from the public took a toll on her mental health.

“I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous about saying it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement.

“Sometimes, I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.

Dame Kelly, who previously served in the British Army said a fellow female soldier kissing her sparked her gay awakening.

“I realised I must be gay then because it felt good. It felt more natural. I felt comfortable.”

Later, she confided in her stepfather.

“I was confused and a bit scared of what it meant and nervous to tell him. But he accepted it straight away.”

Let people live their authentic lives

Dame Kelly Holmes posted on Instagram this morning about her hopes for the future.

“Never before have I been able to show my support or add my voice to the importance of people having an identity and visibility.

“Tonight that changes and I hope that if you trust and respect me as I know a lot have you always have you, will follow my journey into helping people understand and gain more knowledge so we can let people live their authentic lives.”

Dame Kelly joins the long list of Gold medal-winning Olympians who previously came out including Ian Thorpe, Matt Mitcham and Tom Daley.

The 2022 Beijing Olympics saw a record number of out competitors for a Winter Olympics while the Tokyo Summer Olympics had at least 185.

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1 Comment

  1. Yolande Stiffel
    20 June 2022

    Congratulations Dame Kelly!
    Good on you for having the courage to share your story; it brought tears to my eyes..

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