German diver Timo Barthel was one of our favorite athletes at the Tokyo Olympics after a charming back and forth when we asked him if he was gay and he said the term he preferred was “human.” Which is why we’re happy to report that he won the 10-meter platform at the European Championships in Poland and got closer to winning a spot in the 2024 Olympics.

“EUROPEAN CHAMPION,” Barthel posted on Instagram after winning the gold medal and securing a 10-meter spot for Germany in the Paris Olympics. Barthel still would need to qualify next year in the German Olympic trials.

“It’s unbelievable I’m just speechless,” Barthel told Swim Swam. “Last year I won the preliminary too and then I did a bad job in the final, so finally I got the gold medal. It’s just amazing and now we have the place for Germany, but it’s just for Germany, not my place, so I have to take it next year at the German nationals and the qualification.”

Our interaction with Barthel started when we were compiling a list of the out lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer and nonbinary Olympians for Tokyo in 2021. We saw an Instagram post of Barthel wearing a rainbow Pride shirt and asked if he was gay and could we add him to the list.

“I don’t want to call it or give a name. Gay sounds too hard,” he replied. “I support you, if you want. But I am not homosexual.”

We reached a happy compromise with the next exchange.

We asked: Would you be comfortable with us saying, “Timo Barthel isn’t gay or straight or any other label. He’s human and supports everyone.”

His reply: “Yes this is good (with a praying hands emoji).”

As I wrote then, “Since we’re all objectively human, we’re not adding Barthel to our LGBTQ list since under that criteria we’d have 11,000 entries.” We stand by that and hope we get to cheer on Barthel next year in Paris.