Our story earlier this week about Olympic gymnastics hopeful Josh Dixon got lots of attention, but he told the San Jose Mercury News that's not why he came out publicly. Headed into the national championships in a few weeks, he is focused on being a great athlete first and foremost.
Dixon, of San Jose, has only one focus: to complete a remarkable comeback from a career-threatening Achilles tendon tear last year.
"I'd rather be known for what I can do gymnastically than focusing on being an openly gay athlete," he said this week by phone from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. "I couldn't care less."
As I've chatted with Dixon since the Outsports story was released, he's reiterated over and over his dedication to training. He understands the importance of him reaching the Olympics, not just a bunch of media hits between now and then.
This quote from him to the Merc made me smile:
"There is now that role model position to uphold," Dixon said. "In my mind I still have a lot to prove to myself and to the national governing body that I belong on the national team."
Only one way for him to prove himself: And only focus and training can do that.
The life of the story reminds me of Matthew Mitcham. The Australian diver came out about the same time -- a few months before the Olympics -- four years ago. Interest was strong, but after his performance at the Olympics he exploded onto the scene. If he gets to London on the USA Gymnastics team, sky's the limit for this very driven young man.