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Olympian, top-100 tennis player Johanna Larsson comes out as gay

Larsson talks about being a lesbian, overcoming fear of losing sponsors and family.

2017 US Open Tennis Championships - Day 1
Johanna Larsson has made it to the round of 32 at Grand Slams three times in the last four years.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Johanna Larsson, a professional tennis player from Sweden, has come out publicly in an interview with Sweden’s public television, SVT. The 29-year-old said distractions kept her from accepting herself, then fear kept her from coming out. Now that’s all behind her.

“I understood it late,” Larsson told SVT, according to Tennis World, which claims there has been speculation about her sexual orientation for years. “I was so focused on tennis that love, emotions or anything that could have distracted me from the sport were all put aside.”

Now Sweden’s tennis star lives with her girlfriend, Amanda Sträng, Helsinborg, about an hour north of Copenhagen, Denmark. She said that despite holding a lot of fear about coming out to her family, she has been warmly embraced by them.

Even before the interview, Larsson had been not-so-quietly sharing photos of herself and Sträng on Instagram:

Ett ❤️ med denna underbara tjej! #lyckligtlottad #aldrigentråkigstund #kärlek

A post shared by Johanna Larsson (@johannalarsson111) on

Larsson is currently ranked No. 85 in the world, but she had been ranked as high as No. 45 last year. She has one WTA singles title under her belt, the 2015 Swedish Open. Her career winnings total nearly $3 million.

You can find Johanna Larsson on Facebook, or on Instagram @johannalarsson111.