Matthew Mitcham: The World Is Not Enough
BY Brandon Voss
June 08 2010 12:10 PM ET
Out Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, with whom The Advocate has spoken for cover stories both prior to and following his gold medal win at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, just secured his first major worldwide victory since that Olympic triumph. Receiving perfect 10s across the board on a reverse 3½ tuck with a new personal best of 562.80 combined points, Mitcham followed his recent gold medal win at the Canada Cup with a gold in the 10-meter platform at the 2010 FINA Diving World Cup, which was held June 2–6 in Changzhou, China. Already back in Sydney to finish his university exams before training starts for October’s Commonwealth Games in India, the 22-year-old Funky Trunks ambassador reconnected with The Advocate via email to discuss his latest victory and a long life of leisure beyond the diving board.
The Advocate: When most people hear about the World Cup, they probably think of soccer before diving. For those of us not in aquatic circles, talk to me about the significance of World Cup and how important it was for you to place there.
Matthew Mitcham: There is a benchmark event at the end of the competition season every year; on even years it’s FINA Diving World Cup, odd years it’s FINA World Championships — swimming, water polo, diving, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming. The results from these benchmark events are weighted the most heavily when calculating overall world ranking each year, they qualify you for the next year’s World Series Tour — only top eight in the world are invited — and training grants for the following year are dependent on your success at these events. So yes, they’re extremely important!
Then it’s a good thing you got the gold. Did you have that little teen rascal Tom Daley to worry about in China?
Unfortunately, Tom Daley didn’t come to World Cup this year. He’s working on increasing the difficulty of his dives, which is an unusual thing to miss a benchmark event for. But then again, it’s not an unintelligent decision because it shows that his priorities are well and truly the London Games.
You’ve graced the cover of The Advocate twice in the past two years. As an Australian athlete, what does the attention and support from the gay media in America mean to you?
Twice, I know! I'm very honored. And I’m not sure I'd ever have done so well if it hadn't been for the support all you guys have given me.