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Gay Olympic gymnast Dominic Clarke stresses visibility after coming out

Dominic Clarke is proud to compete as an openly queer Olympian, hoping to increase visibility of LGBTQ athletes.

Dominic Clarke is a trampoline gymnast for Australia.
Dominic Clarke is a trampoline gymnast for Australia.

Trampoline gymnast Dominic Clarke of Australia had a simple reason for coming out as gay a month before the Olympics by becoming a Pride ambassador for Gymnastics New South Wales.

“I’m very grateful that I have the support and opportunity to compete as my unapologetically queer self on the Olympic stage,” Clarke told Outsports. He identifies as gay and queer. “If I can inspire just one other queer athlete to feel more comfortable and safe in their chosen sport, then I’ve done my job as a Pride ambassador.”

In June, Clarke, 24, was named Pride ambassador along with former Australian gymnast and current coach Mic Whitehouse. In a short Facebook video, Clarke said, “I’ve been involved in gymnastics for over 20 years as a coach, judge and athlete. As a queer-identifying athlete, pride to me means being myself and promoting equality where I can within my chosen sport.”

Clarke was not on our original list of out Olympians but messaged us, saying, “Hey! I’m another openly queer athlete competing in the Olympics, if you want your numbers up.” It shows that despite our extensive research, there are still out Olympians we still don’t know about.

Dominic Clarke and Aiden Thomas of Australia compete during in synchronized trampoline at the 2018 World Cup in Japan.
Dominic Clarke and Aiden Thomas of Australia compete during in synchronized trampoline at the 2018 World Cup in Japan.
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Clarke, who has finished as high as fourth in international competitions in synchronized trampoline and sixth in individual, has been a gymnast since he was 5. He’s also a performer in other areas, playing the role of three characters in a production of “Cats,” where his gymnastics played a part.

Clarke was named Gymnastics Australia’s Trampoline Senior Male Athlete of the Year in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019, but Tokyo will be his first Olympics, and it will be exciting for him to compete as an openly out athlete.

The men’s trampoline event will be held Saturday, July 31 (the finals starts at 1:50 a.m. Eastern).

You can follow Clarke on Instragram, where he is regularly posting from Tokyo.