Olympic diver Ian Matos who was inspired to come out by Tom Daley dies aged 32

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An Olympic diver who was inspired to come out by Tom Daley has died aged 32.

Brazilian Ian Matos, who competed in his home games in Rio 2016, was hospitalised in October with a throat infection.

The condition spread to his stomach and then his lungs, which led to his premature passing on Wednesday.

Matos had credited Great Britain's Daley as the reason why he had the confidence to announce his sexuality to the world in 2014.

He went on to qualify for the men’s synchronised three metre springboard for the next Olympic Games, in which he finished eighth with partner Luiz Outerelo.

A statement from Brazil’s Olympic Committee read: “We are profoundly saddened to have received the news of the premature death of the Olympic diver Ian Matos, aged just 32.

“Team Brazil acknowledges his contribution to the evolution of the discipline.

“Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Matos, who won three bronze medals at the 2010 South American Games, said he was inspired by Daley revealing his own sexuality.

The Tokyo 2020 gold medallist released a YouTube video in December 2013 telling fans he had been in a relationship with a man.

Just a matter of months later, fellow diver Matos came out himself after watching the video.

He said in a newspaper interview that he had initially confided in a friend that he was gay, but was advised to keep it a secret in order to avoid losing sponsors for Rio 2016.

However, he felt the pressure of hiding boyfriends and pretending to be someone he wasn't was too much.

Matos therefore came out two years before the Games.

In November, his friends and supporters set up a fundraiser so that his family members could visit him in Rio where he was being treated in hospital.

The appeal target was initially set at £1,300, but that figure was nearly doubled.

  • Olympics
  • Family

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