Robbie Manson, the New Zealand Olympic rower who is openly gay, continued his amazing 2017 by winning a male athlete of the year award from the Association of National Olympic Committees at a ceremony in Prague.
Manson was the winner from Oceania, along with fellow Kiwi and female winner, rugby player Sarah Goss. The award honored male and female athletes from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Manson has won two gold medals at international rowing events this year and set the world record in single sculls at a meet in Poznan, Poland. He also dealt with an injury that kept him out of some major meets.
"That was amazing, it was a real high for me," Manson said of the world record. "I'm back into training now for summer races [it’s spring now in the Southern Hemisphere] and national champs then working towards world champs next year with big goal of Tokyo 2020."
Manson came out in 2014 and competed as an out Olympian at the 2016 Rio Games. He has said that he became a better athlete after he no longer felt compelled to hide being gay.