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When this 5-time national champ came out to his teammates, the gay jokes stopped

Luke Strong came out to coaches and teammates as a teen. He still has Olympic aspirations as an out athlete.

Team GB Kitting Out Ahead Of Baku 2015 European Games
Luke Strong has won five British national championships.
Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Luke Strong found acceptance when he came out to his coach and other athletes in the elite trampoline world. Doing so months after a devastating injury certainly put things into perspective for the five-time British champion.

Strong talks on this week’s episode of Five Rings To Rule Them All about how the jokes about him being gay or bi quieted after he came out.

“I actually got less jokes about being gay once I actually came out than before, which is crazy,” Strong says. “Before you come out or say that you’re gay or bi or lesbian, I feel like people are pushing it on you. You must be gay, you must be gay.”

Strong also talks about the devastating injury that nearly resulted in the loss of his leg. He recovered and went on to compete on the national stage less than a year later.

Now looking ahead to the next Olympics — he was a reserve for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio — he is dealing with an ankle injury and a pandemic.

“If my ankle feels good, then if I want to give it a shot for Paris I’ll do that,” he says. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. “If I want to go to Cirque I’ll do that. And if I just want a completely different life, I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”

We also talk about Strong’s eschewing of labels for his sexual orientation and the importance of being a role model for other LGBTQ athletes.

You can listen to the conversation with national champion Luke Strong on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast on Megaphone, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcasts and many more platforms. Just search for Outsports wherever you get your podcast.

And be sure to follow Five Rings To Rule Them All on Twitter.

You can follow Luke Strong on Instagram and on Twitter.