Olympic figure skater Jorik Hendrickx is happy his sexuality was not in the spotlight.
The Belgian national and Winter Olympic star competed in the same games as the likes of Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy, who have gone on to become LGBT+ role models.
However, Hendrickx, who came out as gay this year, took the different route compared to the other out Olympians and is happy that he didn’t attract the spotlight.
He told OutSports: “I’m grateful they created visibility. Every individual is different. Some like to be more in the spotlight than others.
“I think it was a choice by a few athletes to not draw so much attention to them based on their sexual orientation. Being a role model isn’t easy.
“I think Adam and Gus took it very seriously and made a clear statement. The Olympics were a great platform to create visibility and awareness.
“But at the end, we were at the Games to perform our best.”
Out of all the Winter Olympians, there were 15 who identified with the LGBT+ community – a record for any Olympics – during the South Korean games this year.
And although it was a record, Hendrickx hopes one day there will be a world where no one has to come out.
“The whole world is straight,” he added. “So is the sports world. It’s always a step to say I’m not.
“For some people it’s still a big step to make. Some people are still afraid to publicly come out.
“In the case of athletes, we just want to be known for our capability and our results without putting the focus on our sexual orientation, which should be irrelevant in sport in every case.
“In an ideal world, people should not even have to come out.”