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Mark Foster on Rebecca Adlington ‘fling’ after coming out

While presenting the Rio Olympics last year, he had found himself at the centre of speculation he was romantically linked to Rebecca Adlington. 

And now, after confirming he is gay in a recent interview with The Guardian, Mark Foster has revealed why he didn’t deny the swirling rumours surrounding himself and Rebecca – insisting he didn’t want to be ‘pushed’ into publicly addressing his sexuality. 

During a candid interview on Loose Women on Thursday, the swimmer finally spoke of the romance claims and confessed to feeling ‘vulnerable’ about coming out, as he had believed his ‘sexuality’ was considered ‘wrong’ while growing up. 

Candid: Mark Foster, 47, has revealed he didn’t deny being romantically linked to Rebecca Adlington last year, because he didn’t want to feel ‘pushed’ into addressing his sexuality

Speaking to the panel of the ITV daytime show, Mark said: ‘In my private life, my friends and family have always known, but then over the Olympic games with Rebecca Adlington last year there was a sensationalism that me and her were having a [thing].’

When told that would have been his ‘moment’ to address his sexuality, Mark defended his decision to stay silent and said in response: ‘You don’t want to be pushed.’

At the time, much was made of the close bond he seemed to share with Rebecca while on camera, with the pair’s chemistry coming across on screen while they were working together.  

 Honest: The swimmer made the admission on ITV’s Loose Women on Thursday, as he spoke openly of his decision to come out as gay in a recent interview

Heavy interest! His close bond with Rebecca had been heavily speculated about during the Rio Olympics - with many claiming the pair were involved, after seeing Rebecca's hand on Mark's leg while they presented together onscreen

Heavy interest! His close bond with Rebecca had been heavily speculated about during the Rio Olympics – with many claiming the pair were involved, after seeing Rebecca’s hand on Mark’s leg while they presented together onscreen

Former Olympic champion Rebecca, who won two gold medals in Beijing, responded to the speculation with a post on her Instagram account, which said: ‘Me and mark are good friends. That is all. Trust me.’ 

Now, Mark is glad to be able to now address those issues head-on himself and in his initial interview with the Guardian, he explained: ‘There was that stuff about Becky, but she knows I’m gay and knows my other half.

‘We’re good mates and when she doesn’t want to answer anything on live television she’ll squeeze my leg and I take over. But it became a huge story. I should have said: “Don’t be daft. I’m gay.”‘

Meanwhile, on Loose Women, Mark also spoke of the ‘pressure’ he felt that prevented him from coming out early on into his career and confessed that he had ‘believed’ his sexuality was considered to be ‘wrong’ growing up as a child.  

Hitting back: Told by the Loose Women panel that the claims would have been his 'moment' to address his sexuality, Mark defended his decision to stay silent and said: 'You don't want to be pushed.'

Hitting back: Told by the Loose Women panel that the claims would have been his ‘moment’ to address his sexuality, Mark defended his decision to stay silent and said: ‘You don’t want to be pushed.’

Setting the record straight: Former Olympic champion Rebecca, who won two gold medals in Beijing, responded to the speculation with a post on her Instagram account, which said: 'Me and mark are good friends. That is all. Trust me.'

Setting the record straight: Former Olympic champion Rebecca, who won two gold medals in Beijing, responded to the speculation with a post on her Instagram account, which said: ‘Me and mark are good friends. That is all. Trust me.’

Mark explained: ‘Going back to when I was a kid, being gay was wrong. Typically, you should meet a woman, get married, have kids, get a house and that’s the way it worked in a sense – that’s what you get taught.’ 

Having had girlfriends in the past, he admitted to ‘hiding away’ from his sexuality and said: ‘When I did meet someone and started to have feelings towards men I was kind of going, “Well that’s wrong, you shouldn’t be having these feelings'”

‘You get so used to not sharing your full self with people because you’re going to be vulnerable and you’re afraid of what people might think and you’re potentially afraid of what the outcome might be regarding work or other bits and pieces.’ 

Reflecting on his career in the pool, swimmer Mark admitted he sometimes wonders whether his successes would have differed if he had addressed his sexuality sooner. 

Woes: Mark also spoke of the 'pressure' he felt that prevented him from coming out early on into his career and confessed that he had 'believed' his sexuality was considered to be 'wrong' growing up as a child

Woes: Mark also spoke of the ‘pressure’ he felt that prevented him from coming out early on into his career and confessed that he had ‘believed’ his sexuality was considered to be ‘wrong’ growing up as a child

Open: Mark explained: 'Going back to when I was a kid, being gay was wrong. Typically, you should meet a woman, get married, have kids, get a house and that's the way it worked'

Open: Mark explained: ‘Going back to when I was a kid, being gay was wrong. Typically, you should meet a woman, get married, have kids, get a house and that’s the way it worked’

Worries: He added: 'You get so used to not sharing your full self with people because you're going to be vulnerable and you're afraid of what people might think'

Worries: He added: ‘You get so used to not sharing your full self with people because you’re going to be vulnerable and you’re afraid of what people might think’

‘I never won the Olympics and I’m not saying had I been myself I would have won the Olympics, but you just don’t know. I was always afraid of being in the limelight a little bit more… if you step into the limelight, people will see a little bit more of you.’ 

Mark is now encouraging both men and women to speak up about mental health issues and openly spoke of how therapy had helped me, adding: ‘Sitting down and discussing my inner secrets… I felt a weight coming off slowly.’

His live TV interview followed Mark’s first appearance in public since confirming he is gay. He had attended the CLUB LOVE gala in honour of the Elton John AIDS Foundation with a slew of other celebrities including Gareth Thomas, Pixie Geldof and model Lottie Moss.

Pensive: Reflecting on his career in the pool, swimmer Mark admitted he sometimes wonders whether his successes would have differed if he had addressed his sexuality sooner

Pensive: Reflecting on his career in the pool, swimmer Mark admitted he sometimes wonders whether his successes would have differed if he had addressed his sexuality sooner

Reflective: 'I never won the Olympics and I'm not saying had I been myself I would have won the Olympics, but you just don't know'

Reflective: ‘I never won the Olympics and I’m not saying had I been myself I would have won the Olympics, but you just don’t know’

Stepping out: His live TV interview followed Mark's first appearance in public since confirming he is gay - he had attended the CLUB LOVE gala in honour of the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Stepping out: His live TV interview followed Mark’s first appearance in public since confirming he is gay – he had attended the CLUB LOVE gala in honour of the Elton John AIDS Foundation

It came two days after his interview with the Guardian surfaced, in which he called upon Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who came out in 2009, and fellow Olympian Tom Daley, who confirmed his sexuality in 2013, as trailblazers for helping him to stop ‘tiptoeing around the issue’.  

Mark, who carried the Great Britain flag at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, revealed he felt he had not been true to himself as he had put off speaking out for so long. 

In the chat, he said: ‘I’m 47, a middle-aged man, and I’m no longer competing. And I’m not the first gay sportsman to come out. Gareth Thomas and Tom Daley led the way.

‘I tiptoed around the issue for so long. I got good at the dance of telling half-truths.

Praise: Mark called upon Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who came out in 2009, and fellow Olympian Tom Daley, who confirmed his sexuality in 2013, as trailblazers for helping him to stop 'tiptoeing around' his own sexuality

Praise: Mark called upon Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who came out in 2009, and fellow Olympian Tom Daley, who confirmed his sexuality in 2013, as trailblazers for helping him to stop ‘tiptoeing around’ his own sexuality

Inspiring: Mark revealed he felt he had not been true to himself as he had put off speaking out for so long

Inspiring: Mark revealed he felt he had not been true to himself as he had put off speaking out for so long



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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