(This story was published in 2005).

By: Chris Morgan

(Chris Morgan won the silver medal in the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Finals in Atlanta in November.)

LONDON–The problem with success is that it removes repression.

Achieving goals removes motivating factors and automatically creates new comfort zones for an athlete. Throughout my career there have been cycles of success, directly followed by injury, frustration and failure.

Making the podium in the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Finals automatically removes my leading motivation. Six years of frustration of not making the grade in “mainstream’” competition have been destroyed in one stroke.

I learnt after Gay Games in Sydney 2002 that breaking through barriers can leave me reminiscing in the past and grasping for motivation. I learnt from this experience that following success it’s important to evolve quickly, and not dwell in the past.

The Future

I’m not willing to return to old habits, relaxing, becoming complacent and living off past results. In order to continue building my career, I need to learn from the past and break the “boom” and “bust” cycle.

Achieving “success” after “failure” is something that is not new to me, and a situation to which I’ve had plenty of practice. It comes naturally for me to peak, then to go through the drama of failure and then once more fight back.

Achieving “success” after “success” is completely uncharted water and is about forming a new set of positive habits. I have to create consistency and regularity within my performance to truly become a world-class athlete.

Repression has become the key ingredient to my achievements and I realize that this is not healthy. Without changing this aspect of my behavior would it mean waiting another two years for my next success in elite sport.

I’m not determined not to let this happen.


I’ve learnt that my motivational balance alters and shifts, with the ultimate combination based around a number of mental switches. Each of these has become like tools, that are used at different times, dependent on the individual situation.

Even though the World Drug Free Championship Final answered a big question in my mind, my personal self-acceptance level has still not been met. I’m still hungry for further international experience and to add to my collection medals.

Homophobia is still also a major part in the overall picture, with still so many battles to be won in the world. This is my way of making a point and demonstrating that we are all made equally.

Performance-enhancing drugs in sport is an issue that is likely to fuel my fire for years to come. I realize that I’m a rarity in a sport that is infested with steroids, but it drives me on knowing that here’s always a cheat to beat.

There are also a number of fresh issues coming into my mind, which have the power to motivate me in the future. I’m still not certain completely certain how they all fit into the overall picture, but find myself asking a number of searching questions?

Next Generation

Why aren’t there more openly gay athletes in elite sport?

Within our community we have many individuals who are successful, intelligent, professional, organized and talented. Many gay men and omen have the characteristics of an elite athlete, so why are there so few of us that excel in sport?

The gay family life is very compatible with that of an elite athlete, with many of us not having the commitment of children. Isn’t it time we proved ourselves in the sporting world, as well as other walks of life such as the arts and media?

We’ve built the foundations by and are creating a whole generation of gay athletes with an interest in sport. Some of these boys and girls are right on the edge of succeeding, so let’s encourage them to be open and out as the revolution unfolds.


Why is it as a community we’re satisfied with participating?

Participation is one of the founding principles that underpin gay sport, with the concept an integral value of the Gay Games. However, it’s time for some of our gay athletes to step up from participating and start competing.

I understand the need to encourage people to take up sport from a healthy living point of view. After all, I was manufactured, built and hot stamped “FGG” back in 1998 and fully support the principle of participation.

However, my belief is that it is now time for gay athletes to express their talents and challenge for World medals in sport. Our athletes have lived in the shadows for too long and consequently we are missing a whole generation of leaders in sport.


Why don’t major brands offer endorsements to openly gay athletes?

It’s a shame that gay athletes don’t get the same opportunities as our straight counterparts through endorsements. There’s a need for sponsors and corporate brands to overcome their insecurities and reluctance in supporting openly gay athletes.

Our path to success as a sports community has been repressed through the lack of support, funding and encouragement. Openly gay sports people have not been given fair opportunity to prove themselves on equal terms.

I’m actually quite surprised that potential supporters have not yet realized that by backing openly gay athletes, they would gain access a huge loyal market. There’s no doubt that the gay community would support the brands that openly assist our elite athletes.


I’m the first openly gay athlete to graduate from Gay Games to World Championship level in sport. I understand that this brings a responsibility to be visible and to maintain my challenge for world medals.

I realize it’s important to continue breaking down the barriers and challenge repression both personally and in the community in general. My new motivation is to help encourage a new generation of gay athletes to stand up and be both out and proud.

It’s time for gay sport to evolve to the next level.

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