Brazilian Olympic diver Ian Matos dies aged 32

Openly gay diving star Ian Matos, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics, has died after being hospitalized with a lung infection. (Instagram / @ ianmatos)

Openly gay Brazilian Olympic diver Ian Matos has died aged 32 from a serious infection that left him hospitalized.

Matos had been hospitalized for two months before his condition worsened on Wednesday (December 22), the sun reported. He first sought treatment for a throat infection which then spread to his stomach and lungs.

He had won three bronze medals at the 2010 South American Games. He placed eighth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he competed in the men’s three-meter synchronized springboard alongside his diving partner Luiz. Outerelo.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” to have received the “news of the premature death” of Matos.

The statement continued: “The Brazil team recognizes their contribution to the evolution of the discipline.

“Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Matos was released publicly in 2014, two years before he finally competed in the Olympics. He said he was inspired to live like his real me after seeing the video of British diver Tom Daley’s coming out in 2013.

“From a young age I knew I was gay, but this is where I got to experience my sexuality,” Matos said at the time, referring to his home in Rio.

According to Outdoor sportsMatos said a friend advised him to stay in the closet until after the 2016 Olympics. But he said the pressure to hide boyfriends, avoid gay parties and not be able to live its truth was ultimately too much for the young diver.

At the time, Ian Matos was one of a handful of LGBT + Olympians. A record 56 openly LGBT + athletes at the time participated in the Rio 2016 Games, Outdoor sports reported.

At last summer’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, there were at least 186 athletes absent, more than triple the number who competed in the Rio Olympics.

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