Graeme Obree reveals that he is gay

Flying Scotsman says suppressed homosexuality contributed to depression and inner torment

by Simon_MacMichael   January 31, 2011  

Graeme Obree hour record 1993

Graeme Obree, who in the 1990s set the cycling world alight with his exploits in chasing the Hour record, which he held twice, as well as winning the World Championship for the individual pursuit in 1993 and 1995, has put an end to three decades of private torment by publicly admitting that he is gay.

The 45-year-old father of two says in an interview with the Scottish Sun that one of the reasons he suppressed his sexuality for so long resulted from the homophobic environment that he encountered while growing up in Ayrshire during the 1970s, which he says was a factor behind his later suicide attempts.

We imagine that most users, like ourselves, will consider Obree’s sexuality to be a private matter for himself, but hope you will join us in wishing him inner peace and happiness for the future.

19 user comments

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That's a brave move for any sportsman. Well done

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [298 posts]
31st January 2011 - 10:46


Not easy to do- how many openly gay premier league footballers?

posted by wild man [283 posts]
31st January 2011 - 11:00


Good luck to him - hope it's a weight off his shoulders

posted by Pickypong [55 posts]
31st January 2011 - 11:18


Graham Obree is a true sporting hero.

Now this looks like he can move forward in his life with a better understanding of himself and find happiness.

Best of luck for the future Graham.

posted by Decster [246 posts]
31st January 2011 - 11:26


most users, like ourselves, will consider Obree’s sexuality to be a private matter for himself, but hope you will join us in wishing him inner peace and happiness for the future.

Absolutely. I hope he can get on with his life, he's had more than his share of unhappiness.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1998 posts]
31st January 2011 - 11:42


Very courageous. A true hero. Thank you for taking this brave step Graeme.

posted by lokikontroll [51 posts]
31st January 2011 - 12:35


As a fellow Scot I am always appalled at the barriers in our society against anyone admitting their true orientation. The pressure he felt during his teenage years must have been awful.

We imagine that most users, like ourselves, will consider Obree’s sexuality to be a private matter for himself, but hope you will join us in wishing him inner peace and happiness for the future.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [555 posts]
31st January 2011 - 12:47


I grew up in the Highlands in the 80's, it was and is a nightmare for young people who are different in any way. For anyone interested they might like this artical in the independent here.

posted by ruggtomcat [4 posts]
31st January 2011 - 13:40


this is the bravest thing you`ll ever do and i hope now you have found your inner peace, good luck to you and your family x

posted by mandy [85 posts]
31st January 2011 - 14:02


A sporting hero who has gone up a notch in my estimation.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [388 posts]
31st January 2011 - 17:33


Good luck to Graeme - hopefully he can now get on with his life.

Nicely written, Simon.

posted by mrsminx411 [86 posts]
31st January 2011 - 19:36


Saw this today, was really suprised of the coverage. It was the whole front page with a big picture of him in signature persuit position. Nice to see a cyclist making front page news and hope hes happier now.

posted by miffed [163 posts]
31st January 2011 - 20:23


I've nothing but admiration and respect for Graeme and I wish him the very best in every aspect of his life.

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [209 posts]
31st January 2011 - 21:51


Having just watched 'The Flying Scotsman' ...and about to start reading the book, I can only applaud the man for his contribution to sports and hopefully his obvious turmoil is now able to be put to rest.
This should in no way make any difference to his standing as one of the greatest characters in cycling over the last few decades.. I hope that the 'local tormentors' from his childhood have 'grown up' and will leave him be.....


The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [459 posts]
31st January 2011 - 22:16


I would hope that the local bullies and tormentors would experience the sort of demise that is reserved for such torturous, ignorant people.

My best wishes go to Mr Obree, I hope that this brings him personal calm and that the world of sport can really take in the genius and honour of the man.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
31st January 2011 - 23:29


Good for Graeme! It can be tough and takes lots of courage to come out. Graeme has been an inspirational cyclist and this is one more reason to admire and respect him.

In my experience as a gay man, cyclists can be incredibly understanding, broad-minded and are usually able to recognise that we're all part of some kind of minority or other and I've generally found that there's a 'live and let live' philosophy among us; so I hope and expect that in the cycling fraternity at least Graeme's decision will not affect how he's treated - except perhaps that even more of us will appreciate his achievements and see them as worthy of even more esteem.

--- --- \_ \¬
------ (+) / (+)______ better by bike!

Mike McBeth's picture

posted by Mike McBeth [73 posts]
1st February 2011 - 8:48


Graeme continues to be an inspiration. Chapeau!

posted by stever [53 posts]
1st February 2011 - 10:44


As others have mentioned well written and I totally agree with the sentiments. Good on you Graeme

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
1st February 2011 - 21:08


I was brought up in North Wales and can well understand how difficult this must have been. In London and the larger cities in the UK it is slightly easier. Best of luck to you in the future!

posted by valdestana [16 posts]
25th May 2011 - 20:40

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