If 22-year-old Josh Dixon makes the US Olympics team, he says he wants to be remembered for bringing home a gold medal in men’s gymnastics.
But Dixon has already been making headlines as the potential first openly gay male gymnast on Team USA, making him a role model for openly gay athletes everywhere.
“I’m focusing on the gymnastics,” Dixon told CBSLocal, noting that the general reaction to him coming out before competing:
“My closest friends, and every one at school, and the people I was closest to knew, so it was no big deal.”
His motivation? A fellow gymnast who told him he could be an role model for other gay athletes:
“It’s OK to be yourself and do what you do and the world won’t judge you for it.”
When a fellow gymnast came out during his sophomore year at Stanford University, Dixon followed his lead and opened-up with his teammates about his sexuality. Dixon told Outsport.com that he has “not had a single negative response ‘in any way, shape or form.’ ”
But again, he’s hoping that his contributions on Team USA are what will make the headlines.
The San Jose native has been doing gymnastics since he started tumbling in his backyard at the the tender age of six. He was a four-time member of the USA Junior National team while in high school.
While at Stanford, his team won national championships in 2009 and 2011, while Dixon himself placed seventh-overall in the NCAA Championships his senior year.
Now, the seven-time All-American is hoping to comeback strong from an Achilles injury, and be dominant enough in the up-coming trials make the six-man Olympic team.