Olympic Gold medal-winning American track and field athlete, Kerron Clement, has come out as gay.
33-year-old Clement opened up about his sexuality for the first time during a Nike event to mark the launch of a new community athletic rainbow track in Los Angeles.
Speaking at the facility which was dedicated to the late Gilbert Baker who designed the original LGBTQ Rainbow flag, Clement told OutSports that he decided to come out because he “was tired of loving in the dark.”
“I struggled with my sexuality for 17 years. Over time, as you get older, you care less. Now it’s time to just be yourself and be free. That’s what I’ve become, free.”
Clement also praised his sponsor Nike, saying that they had been extremely supportive. “I have a global brand backing me. It’s absolutely amazing. I wish all companies would do what Nike does.”
While Clement says he identifies as gay, he also added that he does not believe his sexuality is fixed. “It’s about loving somebody. I could be attracted to a female one day or a guy.”
“I’m more attracted to men,” Clement adds, “but for me love is love. It doesn’t matter. Though I do identify as a professional gay track and field athlete, and it’s made me become who I am today.”
“People should learn how to say ‘fuck what everybody else thinks.’ As I’ve gotten older I started caring less and less, and now in my 30s, I thought it’s time to finally be free. Plain and simple,” Clement concluded.
The Trinidad & Tobago born athlete represents the United States and competes in the 400-meter hurdles and 400-meter sprint – Clement won gold at the 2008 Beijing and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.