Linus Thornblad, 22, is a Swedish high jumper with a great bod who doesn’t mind showing it off.
Though straight, Thornblad had no reservations about being the cover boy for QX, the leading Swedish gay magazine. He’s also a bit of a tease, saying, “I have always been sure about my thing. So I’m just sorry for all the gays who fancy my looks!”
The funniest part was his lament that, on one hand, he kind of wishes he was gay: “In my personal opinion it would have been awesome to be gay while doing what I do. You know, one gets to see a lot in the shower.”
The interview was in the November 2006 issue and since our Swedish language skills are a bit rusty, it just came to our attention from Finneye, a contributing Outsports photographer who is multilingual. He was kind enough to translate part of QX’s interview with Thornblad:
How does it feel to be a sex object?
It’s flattering no matter if it’s girls or guys who think about me that way. It is especially cool when gays think so because they are more critical about one’s appearance and put a lot of value on masculinity and toughness.
What did people say when the news came out that you will be undressing for a gay magazine?
Some people were shocked and my grandmother didn’t think it was such a good idea. But it was rather meant to be like just taking off some clothes and I never planned to lay around naked with just my hand covering my private parts or something ... Anyway, I thought it would be cool to see people’s reactions and I think serves them right those who get appalled by it being a gay magazine.
Why did you agree to this?
I thought it would be a lot of fun to appear in a gay magazine. And I would certainly not have agreed if it had been one of the ordinary ladies' magazines.
Have you met any gays on the elite level of track and field?
Some isolated cases, yes, but I am sure there are more those who wouldn't tell. It is sad that many people perceive homosexuality as a negative thing, but it’s mostly just because they have never met anyone gay.
In my personal opinion it would have been awesome to be gay while doing what I do. You know, one gets to see a lot in the shower. Should you find someone training with you interesting, you are going to see the whole thing when you hit the showers together. So as a gay man you’d get some reward for keeping your mouth shut. (laughter)
Are you buddies with anyone gay?
No, but since my cousin came out I have had a different view of the matter. In other words, I hadn’t thought so much about being gay before. I think people just hurl around the word homo as an insult without thinking what it really means. Why should one use sexual orientation as an insult? It’s all wrong. And why should you get mad if a gay guy comes on to you, is it not the same thing if a girl you are not interested in made a pass on you? It’s a compliment no matter who it comes from.
Have you ever thought how it would feel being with a guy?
No, I have always been sure about my thing. So I’m just sorry for all the gays who fancy my looks! (laughter)
Thornblad is among those jocks in the past year who have celebrated their gay fan base. We have a terrific Q&A with English rugby player Ben Cohen, who is having a gay appreciation night, and last year ran an article about French decathlete Romain Barras and how he was flattered by the attention he received from gay men. On the other hand, there are the Sebastien Gacond’s of the world. –Jim Buzinski