Dame Kelly Holmes praised after athletics hero comes out as gay

Dame Kelly Holmes praised after athletics hero comes out as gay
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Olympic gold medalist, Dame Kelly Holmes has received an outpouring of praise after the 52-year-old athlete announced that she publically announced that she is gay.

The 52-year-old who won the 800m and 1500m Olympic double at the 2004 games told the Mirror: "I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I'm nervous about saying it. I feel like I'm going to explode with excitement. Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I'm essentially getting rid of that fear."

Holmes added on her Instagram account: "This is not new to me, it’s about me Being Me. I hope you will all read the story and show compassion to me and those around you that may struggle with fear every day! Fear is a natural, powerful, and primitive human emotion. It involves a biochemical response as well as a high individual emotional response. Fear alerts us to the presence of danger or the threat of harm, whether that danger is physical or psychological."

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Holmes's news has been greeted with great enthusiasm on social media with many praising the athletics greats for her bravery and finally coming out.

As well as being an athlete Holmes served in the British Army from age 18 but admitted that she feared what would happen to her if she came out while she was in the military. She also recounted an incident where the British Military Police raided her accommodation in what she believes was an attempt to out her.

Holmes says: "They pulled everything out of your cupboard, turned out the beds and drawers, read letters - everything - trying to catch us out, so we could be arrested, court-martialled and potentially go to jail."

Holmes retired from athletics in 2005, with a record of four gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals across Olympic, World, European, Indoor and Commonwealth championships.

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