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3 openly gay athletes have set world records and won gold this summer

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So much for the idea that being out is a ‘distraction.’

Tom Daley celebrating his diving gold.

It’s been a summer to remember for three openly gay athletes, with two setting world records and a third winning a gold medal.

It started in June when New Zealand rower Robbie Manson set a record in single sculls in winning the gold medal at the World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland. Manson then won another gold medal a few weeks later at a world cup race in Switzerland.

In July, British Olympian Tom Bosworth set a world record in the one-mile race walk.

Another Brit, diver Tom Daley, won the gold medal in the men’s 10-meter platform last month at the world championships in Hungary.

These are all three great achievements and put the lie to the idea that being openly gay is a hindrance to an athlete. All three competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Manson has specifically said he has become a better athlete since coming out following the 2012 London Olympics, since he no longer had to expend any energy on hiding. Daley and Bosworth have each married in the past year.

I know all three compete in individual sports, and male team dynamics are different, but even in the latter we are seeing signs of progress. In about a month, we will see a first — two openly gay college football players playing for FBS/Power 5 teams.