Tewksbury, Massachusetts
1 min

Mark Tewksbury to lead Canada’s team at 2012 Olympics

Mark Tewksbury — the Canadian Olympic gold medallist and the only gay in Canada’s citizenship study guide — will lead Canada’s team at the 2012 London Olympics.

"I am truly honoured to have been selected as Canada’s Chef de Mission for London 2012,” said Tewksbury in a statement. “To lead our Canadian Olympic Team into London
is an incredible privilege and honour. I look forward to working
closely with the Canadian Olympic Committee over the next two years,
providing optimum support for Canada’s athletes and coaches as we
strive to shine on the world stage."

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, Tewksbury said, “The
fact that I’m openly gay is a testament to the fact that I’m a person
who lives a life of values and integrity. That sets an example as a
leader.”

A 2009 Xtra cover story explored the many who are reluctant to come out in the sports world:

"It’s a very difficult place to be if you’re not straight,” Tewksbury said at Vancouver’s Q Hall of Fame launch in September 2009.

If the average private gay citizen is afraid to come out, think how
professional athletes feel, Tewksbury said in 2006. “Think about that
amplified exponentially because you’re in the public eye, part of this
macho image world. You’re maybe physically putting yourself at risk.
That’s what probably keeps a gay male professional team player in the
closet."

It’s fear of the unknown public response that keeps athletes in the closet today, Tewksbury says.

Read the full piece: Why most gay athletes are still reluctant to come out


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