The Summer Olympic Games are a mere four weeks away so we thought it was time to trawl the sports and bring some of the hopefuls to eikon.
We start our set of lists with a sport that has always held a fascination for gay men, not least for the fact that the competitors wear the tightest and smallest uniforms of any sport in The Olympics……diving.
The history of the sport goes back to the 1880’s in England and was eventually made part of the Olympic Games in 1904 in St Louis where there were two competitions held, The Platform Diver and The Plunge For Distance. Both won by Americans.
One of the memorable and shocking moments in diving history was when at the 1988 Summer Games, American diver Greg Louganis hit his head on the end of the board during a reverse somersault dive in the preliminaries of the 3-meter springboard competition. Less than 30 minutes after suffering a cut that eventually required five stitches, he climbed back up on the board and executed the best-scored dive of the day, leading to an eventual gold medal that helped cement his status as the greatest male diver ever.
Less than 30 minutes after suffering a cut that eventually required five stitches, he climbed back up on the board and executed the best-scored dive of the day, leading to an eventual gold medal that helped cement his status as the greatest male diver ever.
Louganis seven years later was to come out as gay and acknowledge that back in 1988 he had already been diagnosed with HIV.
More recently Australia’s Mathew Mitcham became the first male athlete to come out as gay before diving at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Mitcham went on to take gold with four perfect tens in his final
Mitcham went on to take gold with four perfect tens in his final dive of the ten-metre platform event and his score of 112.10 became the highest individual score in Olympic history.
So who is going to perform this year in Rio and what can we look forward to. We have put together our Top 16 Divers to watch for this year’s event across both the 3-metre springboard and platform events. Today we give you the springboard guys in part one…… enjoy.
8. Chris Mears, Great Britain – 3m
Chris is number 18 in the World currently and normally wouldn’t make the list of the best divers in the world but seeing as this is the divers to watch then we couldn’t leave him out.
He is, in fact, a bit shot at a medal in the 3-metre synchro event with his buddy Jack Laugher (Further down in this list) as they are currently ranked number 3 in the world.
Now Chris Mears has declared himself not gay, but he loves his gay fans and continues to build a huge legion of gay supporters. If nothing else during the Olympics his Instagram pics will be something to watch.
7. Constantin Blaha, Austria – 3m
Ranked 14 in the world in the 3-metre event won’t necessarily see Constantin Blaha a medal chance at Rio, but the 28-year-old has certainly come to the attention of those gay observers.
Unfortunately for all of us he is well and truly taken by US model Kimberley Hoff but I’m sure while he continues to compete for Austria in the Olympics we can enjoy his ability on the 3-metre diving board.
6. James Connor Australia – 3m
At the London Olympics Australian James Connor was the youngest member of the diving team at 17. Four years later Connor heads to Rio as the highest ranked 3-metre diver and looking to make the finals and snag a medal.
The 21-year old who is a student at Indiana University looks set to melt hearts across the world.
5. Philippe Gagne Canada – 3m
The 18-year-old Canadian diver Philippe Gagne has been diving since he was six and will enter his first Olympic Games this year.
Gagné secured an Olympic berth for Canada with his ninth place finish in the 3m springboard at the 2016 FINA World Cup in Rio.
Like many of today’s athletes, Philippe is a smart boy and looks set to study in the hope of becoming an engineer. His favourite quote is “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” – Dan Gable
4. Mike Hixon USA – 3m
21-year-old Michael Hixon will head to the Olympics in Rio as one of the USA big chances. Diving since he was seven the Indiana University student is also a mate of Australian Diver James O’Connor (In this list as well).
Both his mother and father have been involved in high-level sport in the US and this is a good breeding ground for this hottie to try and make the team for Rio and take home a bag of medals.
3. Jack Laugher Great Britain – 3m
Jack Laugher is the third member of the Great Britain Diving rat pack alongside Tom Daley and Chris Mears. Mears and Laugher are synchro diving buddies and built themselves a huge social media following during the London Olympics while hanging with Teammate Daley.
In his own right thought 21-year-old Laugher is one of the world’s best divers, ranked 7 in the World for the 3-metre dive and only recently won gold at the European championships with Mears.
In October 2013 Laugher was interviewed and did a photoshoot for Gay Times, where although identifying himself as heterosexual, Laugher called for greater tolerance of gay athletes and revealed that he would be comfortable as an openly gay diver, saying: “Yeah definitely! Any sport you should be able to be openly gay in. I have quite a few gay friends, just from school and people I’ve met through diving and my journey. Everyone should feel comfortable to be gay and be who they are.”
We knew there was something we liked about you Jack and just like Mears he uses every opportunity to show off that incredible diving body to all of his female and male fans alike.
2. Matthieu Rosset France – 3m
The French big hope at the Rio Olympics is 26-year-old Matthieu Rosset who is ranked 3rd in the world for the 3-metre springboard.
Yet to win an Olympic medal, the Lyon resident has one gold and three bronze medals from the European Championships to his name and is known as one of the hardest working divers on the circuit.
1. Rommel Pacheco Mexico – 3m
Mexico’s great hope in the diving is also one of the oldest competitors in the field. At the age of 30 Rommel Pacheco is having a huge effect on the 3-metre springboard, after being a finalist in the 2008 Olympic 10 metre platform event.
This will be his third Olympics after competing at 2004, 2008 and now 2016. The elite athlete is sponsored by Gatorade and is ranked number two in the world so he is a huge medal chance.
He recently won the World Cup Diving championships held as a test event in Rio which guaranteed him a spot in the Olympic Games starting on August 5.
Last Updated on Jul 17, 2016