Gay Australian Olympian Ji Wallace has revealed his HIV status in a letter. According to a letter sent to the Star Observer, Wallace, who won a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and is currently in London viewing the events, said he was inspired by U.S. diver Greg Luganis.
“I caught a CNN Piers Morgan interview with Greg Louganis here in London. It made me think and think and I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote.”
Louganis won four gold and a silver medal at the Olympics in 1976 and 1988, before coming out as both gay and HIV-positive in a 1995 autobiography.
“I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV,” Wallace said.
“I have never publicly disclosed this before but felt inspired by [the] interview… and by Anderson Cooper’s ‘coming out’ letter last month describing ‘value in being seen and heard’ in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.
“I too have been that victim of these atrocious behaviours. Luckily I managed to come through.”
Wallace said he chose this time to come out to raise awareness about the issue.