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17 Jan 2023

Matthew Mitcham tackles Blue Monday and the struggles with sex and drugs

The iconic diver continues to inspire.

 

When it comes to sport, nothing quite holds our attention like a gay diver, and Matthew Mitcham from Australia is one of the best gay divers that the world has ever seen.
Mitcham may no longer be competing, but we’re still following his every move very closely.
In his latest Instagram post, Mitcham shared an update on his sobriety journey – celebrating his 7-year anniversary since he was able to leave his issues with substance abuse behind him.
“Today I am SEVEN YEARS clean and sober…” wrote Mitcham, posting on 2 January. “It has been seven years since I put anything stronger than a Panadol in my body, and I am without a shred of doubt the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.”Not everyone needs sobriety, but I did because I was dependent on external things to solve internal issues. And though I still have internal issues, I now have internal solutions.”
“I hope everyone has had (or is still having) a fun-filled festive season, and if one day you wake up and think “enough’s enough” like I did seven years ago, just know that there is lots of help available if you ask for it.”
 
“It’s not about bragging or asking anyone to congratulate me for sticking with it for seven years…” explains Matthew. “I’m sharing my story to try to help motivate others who may be struggling with similar issues.”
“I volunteer with the charity Controlling Chemsex – what we’ve found is that a lot of people have a bit of a blow-out over the festive season…” adds Matthew. “Making resolutions about your drug use is a great starting point, but staying motivated is the really tough bit. That’s why throughout January, I’m going to be Mister Motivator.”
“Matthew Mitcham’s Monday Motivation is a fun way for us to amplify our harm-reduction message across social media, but there is a really serious message behind it…” explains Ignacio Labayen de Inza – founder of, Controlling Chemsex. “Huge numbers of people are struggling with their use of chems – we need to show people that there is a way through this and that there is help available.”
If you, or a friend or loved one, is struggling with chems, contact Controlling Chemsex to find out what support is available in your area.
Who is Matthew Mitcham?
Born in 1988 and growing up in Brisbane, Queensland, Mitcham began his sporting career in competitive trampoline.
As a trampolinist, Mitcham represented Australia at the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2001, winning the double mini-tramp event. He also competed at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in 2003, finishing sixth.
He was talent-spotted by the head coach of the Australian diving team, and encouraged to try turning his acrobatic skills to the sport of diving.
Mitcham began competing in major diving events from 2002, when he became national junior champion. He continued to progress through international competitions, competing at Grand Prix events, World Championships, and the Commonwealth Games.
2008 Summer Olympics
Mitcham represented Australia at the 2o08 Summer Olympics, held in Beijing. He competed in the 10m platform, and the 3m springboard events.
In the springboard event, Mitcham didn’t qualify for the final.
In the 10m platform, Mitcham made it through to the final of the competition, and entered the final round of dives sitting in second place. Leading the competition was Zhou Luxin, representing China. With Zhou having completed all of his dives, with his final dive Mitcham needed to score 107.30 in order to win the gold. Mitcham’s near-perfect final dive achieved a score of 112.10 – the highest single-dive score in Olympic history, and enough to secure him the Olympic gold medal.
Life after diving
After competing in the 2012 Olympics, Mitcham announced his retirement from competitive diving in 2016.
He has subsequently been focusing on a career in entertainment – including television appearances and a cabaret show.
The relationship
Mitcham and Luke Rutherford had been dating for six months before they announced their engagement.
“We didn’t really make an impression on each other at first. It was kind of a slow burn relationship…” Mitcham told Q News, explaining that they had met through mutual friends in Sydney.
After travelling around Australia together, the couple moved to London.
Soon after, Mitcham posted the news of their engagement to Instagram:
“He got down on both knees, I said yes, and now we’re engaged.”
Updating his Instagram, Mitcham confirmed that the response to the news of his engagement to Rutherford was overwhelmingly positive:
“I wish I could say I’m humbled by the response we’ve received but the attention seeker in me is LIVING. Thank you for all the kind messages. I wish I could respond to each one individually but I’ve got my big fat gay wedding to plan. I’ll heart each message to let you know I’ve read and appreciated your kind words.”
The couple were subsequently married in Belgium.
Mitcham wrote on Instagram:
“After a sustained period of lovely gestures, loyalty, gazing adoringly and many trips to Ikea, I managed to trick @lukeyluke8 into falling in love with me, proposing to me and finally marrying me. Now he’s stuck with me forever and ever, ha!”
Following the wedding, the couple travelled to Amsterdam for their honeymoon.
Comments

 

When it comes to sport, nothing quite holds our attention like a gay diver, and Matthew Mitcham from Australia is one of the best gay divers that the world has ever seen.

Mitcham may no longer be competing, but we’re still following his every move very closely.

In early January, Mitcham took to Instagram to share an update on his sobriety journey – celebrating his 7-year anniversary since he was able to leave his issues with substance abuse behind him.

“Today I am SEVEN YEARS clean and sober…” wrote Mitcham, posting on 2 January. “It has been seven years since I put anything stronger than a Panadol in my body, and I am without a shred of doubt the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. Not everyone needs sobriety, but I did because I was dependent on external things to solve internal issues. And though I still have internal issues, I now have internal solutions. I hope everyone has had (or is still having) a fun-filled festive season, and if one day you wake up and think “enough’s enough” like I did seven years ago, just know that there is lots of help available if you ask for it.”

 “It’s not about bragging or asking anyone to congratulate me for sticking with it for seven years…” explains Matthew. “I’m sharing my story to try to help motivate others who may be struggling with similar issues."

Mitcham - an ambassador with the charity Controlling Chemsex - has now followed that up with a post on Blue Monday.

"Monday 16th January is unofficially Blue Monday - known as the most depressing day of the year and a real crunch-point in sticking to New Year's resolutions and positive behaviour changes..." wrote Mitcham. "For anyone whose resolution is to reduce or stop using chems, writing down your reasons and obstacles can be really helpful:

1. Why do you want to stop using? To avoid the negative consequences, sure, but try to include some positive reasons so that stopping is leading to a positive outcome rather than just avoiding a negative outcome. Is it for better mental health, less isolation, more connected to your social world? Make sure they’re reasons for you, not for someone else.

2. Obstacles are inevitable, but listing them can help you prepare ways to navigate them or prevent them altogether. Common obstacles are difficulties with cravings, loneliness, problems enjoying sober sex, boredom and stress. Come up with as many ways to avoid or respond to each of your specific obstacles, and always remember that people want to help! When it comes to chems, there is free professional support from fabulous organisations like Controlling Chemsex.

TL;DR to stop using chems, list your motivations and obstacles, and remember you are not alone, we know it's hard, but we are here to help."

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