New Zealand Olympic rower Robbie Manson comes out as gay

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Olympic rower Robbie Manson has come out publicly as gay after two years of being out to his friends and teammates.

Writing for Outsports, he said coming out was the “scariest decision” of his life.

“I have learned so much about myself and what it means to be gay over the past couple of years, and also what it means to be gay in a competitive sporting environment. And it’s all been hugely positive.”

He added he previously “looked down” on people who were gay, saying: “I knew I was gay too, and I hated myself because of it. I would get quite depressed about.

“I seriously thought that if anyone found out I wouldn’t be able to row anymore. The thought of coming out, in my mind, felt so limiting and terrifying.”

However, he said: “It was all in my head.”

“To show other people who might be struggling with their sexuality, not only that it’s OK to be gay, but it’s a good thing, and it won’t change who you are or limit what you can achieve.

“At the end of the day, it’s only one of the many things that define me as a person.”

In July, Olympic kayak hopeful Connor Taras also discussed coming out as gay, saying it was a relief, and that he had an overwhelmingly positive reaction.