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Gay Times July 13 - Issue 421


BLAKE SKJELLERUP ON BEING AN OUT OLYMPIAN

Bullied at school, Blake Skjellerup overcame the negatives in life. Now the New Zealand champion speed skater is one of the few Olympic athletes who've come out. He tells Gt why his sexuality has made him determined to be a gold medal winning gay athlete.

If sheep, Maori tattoos and the hillside home of Lord of The Rings are the only images your mind conjures up when you picture New Zealand, then allow us to introduce you to Blake Skjellerup. Because the gay Olympics speed skater has joined the ranks of athletes who are determined to make the rocky road a little less arduous for sports stars who remain hesitant to come out, Blake told the world he was gay shortly after competing in Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympics. But getting there wasn't an easy ride. "I didn't always know I was gay," he tells GT. "There was definitely confusion for a long time. For four or five years I had an idea I might be gay and I dated girls on and off. But i was struggling to come to terms with it. I dated men too and when I was 22, I realised I was actually gay. And the biggest thing that concerned me was being a gay sportsman."

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