Rowing Champ Maarten Hurkmans Came Out As Bi

Image via Instagram

Another professional athlete has come out.

Joining the ranks of the other pro athletes who’ve come out in 2020 is Dutch rower Maarten Hurkmans. 22-year-old Hurkmans has already had a long career in sports. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, Hurkmans competed on the 2016 rowing team. With them, he won both a Pac-12 and an Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship. Outside of school sports, Hurkmans has won several Dutch national team medals and a medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championship. Hurkmans was also expected to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, but the event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While waiting for that competition to commence, Maarten Hukmans announced on Instagram that he’s bisexual. He shared this announcement by first asking his followers, “Are you your unapologetic self?”

For Hurkmans, he says he’s very open about himself and his life to those who know him intimately.

“I have a clear presence, you can always read my mood straight of my face, and I can be the absolute worst morning person,” he stated before announcing to the world, “I am also bisexual, something that I consider to be an important part of who I am.”

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Are you your unapologetic self? ⠀ ⠀ Everyone that knows me will say that I’m very unapologetically me. I have a clear presence, you can always read my mood straight of my face, and I can be the absolute worst morning person. I am also bisexual, something that I consider to be an important part of who I am.⠀ ⠀ For many people, sexuality is not something to consider much. However, for many LGBTQ+ people, a lot of time and anxiety can go into discovering, accepting and reconciling themselves with their sexuality. I am very lucky to have been brought up by amazing parents in an open and accepting environment, and luckily, I have never experienced my sexuality as much of a burden. Not everyone shares my experience though. ⠀ ⠀ It can be hard to come out, especially in sports. Not many elite athletes identify as LGBTQ+ and there are few role models to look up to and show that it doesn’t matter and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I am 2.01m, 110kgs, proud of who I am, and I row at the elite level. To many, I do not fit the stereotype, but I do want to be an example to anyone that feels like they can’t be their true self.⠀ ⠀ Identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community does not make you less masculine, or able to compete and win. In the end, we all line up at the same starting line with the same anticipation as we endure those final minutes before the start. Equally tense and ready for the green light. ⠀ ⠀ #pride

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Maarten Hurkmans then acknowledged that he’s fortunate to come from a loving household and have met great support from his teammates.

“I am very lucky to have brought up by amazing parents in an open and accepting environment, and luckily, I have never experienced my sexuality as much of a burden,” he revealed.

Wishing to act as a role model for other athletes, sports fans, and the general public, Hurkmans then shared the message that being LGBTQ is “nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community does not make you less masculine, or able to compete and win. In the end, we all line up at the same starting line with the same anticipation as we endure those final minutes before the start. Equally tense and ready for the green light.”

What do you think?