Three-time Olympic gymnast Tomás González of Chile reveals his homosexuality in his newly published memoir, “Champion: Lessons, Triumphs and Falls of an Olympic Gymnast.”

At 36, González confirmed he was gay in an interview with Latercera, stating, “Yes, I am gay,” before adding, “I chose to disclose this in my book.”

Throughout his career, González demonstrated his gymnastic prowess in the 2012 London, 2016 Rio, and 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Despite not earning an Olympic medal, his best results were two fourth-place finishes in the 2012 games. Furthermore, he has a decorated career with several medals from the Pan-Am Games and South American Games.


As he approaches the end of his sports career, González maintained he had no intention of utilizing his athletic platform to come out publicly. “My aim is to contribute to society through sports, not engage in politics actively. I am always in support of people, advocating equal rights for everyone, but coming out with a specific agenda was never my plan,” he said.

In another vein, the 2014 Nets and Raptors, two basketball teams with a history of poor performance, found themselves battling to avoid first-round playoff elimination. They both kicked off the year in a less-than-stellar fashion, although their strategies contrasted greatly. The Nets flaunted an expensive roster boasting five All-Stars – Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez. Conversely, the Raptors maintained a relatively modest payroll, supporting a single All-Star, DeMar DeRozan, a group of young talents, and their second-choice point guard, Kyle Lowry, whom they had earlier considered trading.

Speaking of his journey, González acknowledges gymnastics can be an obstacle to coming out due to societal and sport-specific biases. “Machismo and homophobia are issues that exist not only in society but also within the confines of the gym,” he admitted. He highlighted the sparse representation of LGBTQ athletes in his sport, with only one out female gymnast in Tokyo and one known male – Australian Heath Thorpe.

González recalled the internal struggle he faced upon realizing his sexuality at 24, stemming from his upbringing in a traditional family. He shared, “I spent many days in tears. As I was accepting my homosexuality, I felt a part of me was simultaneously dying.”

In his memoir, González does not shy away from discussing the emotional distress he experienced as a gay athlete. He recollects an incident in 2007 when a coach hurled a homophobic slur at him after a fall during a competition. “I was prepared to jeopardize my mental well-being to reach the Olympics,” he said.

Having been in a committed relationship for six years, González is hopeful about getting married and starting a family. He stressed, “We all contribute to society, pay taxes, and play a role. I want the same rights as any other citizen. No matter our sexual orientation, we should all have equal rights.”