Twists and Turns
People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn’t changed me. I always responded, ‘Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be.’
I was lying. It wasn’t.
At the Beijing Olympic Games, he made history with an unforgettable dive, the first to ever score perfect tens from all four judges, and won gold for Australia.
Grinning with pride from front pages around the world, there was no hint of the personal demons that had led this supremely talented young dynamo to quit diving less than two years before.
Joyously out and proud, Matthew was a role model for his courage both in and out of the pool. Yet the crippling self-doubt and shadow of depression that had plagued him all his life forced him into premature retirement, at one point reduced to circus diving to earn money.
In the lead-up to the London Olympics, when injury threatened his hopes, he will have to find the strength again to balance his striving for perfectionism with the fear of his self-doubt taking hold again.
Told with the honesty and courage he is admired for, Twists and Turns is an inspiring story of a true champion, in and out of the pool.
About the Author
At 11, champion trampoline gymnast Matthew Mitcham was discovered by the Australian Institute of Sport Diving Program. He became a national junior champion, represented Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, achieving the highest single dive in Games history and becoming the first Australian male to win a gold medal in diving since 1924.
His many awards include the 2010 World Cup, 2010 and 2011 Canadian Cup competitions, along with four silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and he is ranked No.1 in the world in 10m platform. He is also one of Australia’s most prominent ‘out and proud’ athletes.