Ji Wallace, Gay Former Olympian, Announces He Has HIV

23 Sep 2000: Ji Wallace of Australia celebrates after winning silver in the Men's Trampoline held at the Sydney Superdome during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

Silver medalist from 2000 inspired by interview with Greg Louganis

Australian former Olympian Ji Wallace announced publicly this week that he has HIV. The silver medal trampolinist from the 2000 Games said he saw an interview with Greg Louganis in London and was inspired to write to the Sydney Star Observer:

"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.

Louganis came out as gay and announced he has HIV in the mid-Nineties. Wallace has been openly gay since 2005.

Even more rare than the 23 openly gay athletes at these Games are Olympians who publicly acknowledge they have HIV. Given the age of the athletes, it's probable the percentage with HIV is lower than the general population (19-year-olds have simply had less exposure to the disease than people in their 30s and 40s).

Wallace is in London as part of Pride House.

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