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Flying Scotsman says suppressed homosexuality contributed to depression and inner torment

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 road.cc 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.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

19 comments

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 6 years ago
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That's a brave move for any sportsman. Well done

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wild man [297 posts] 6 years ago
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Not easy to do- how many openly gay premier league footballers?

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Pickypong [55 posts] 6 years ago
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Good luck to him - hope it's a weight off his shoulders

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Decster [246 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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Simon E [3041 posts] 6 years ago
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Quote:

most road.cc 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.

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 6 years ago
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Very courageous. A true hero. Thank you for taking this brave step Graeme.

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

Quote:

We imagine that most road.cc 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.

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ruggtomcat [4 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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mandy [94 posts] 6 years ago
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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

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workhard [396 posts] 6 years ago
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A sporting hero who has gone up a notch in my estimation.

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mrsminx411 [86 posts] 6 years ago
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Good luck to Graeme - hopefully he can now get on with his life.

Nicely written, Simon.

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miffed [162 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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cavasta [216 posts] 6 years ago
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I've nothing but admiration and respect for Graeme and I wish him the very best in every aspect of his life.

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The _Kaner [1090 posts] 6 years ago
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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.....

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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Mike McBeth [74 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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stever [65 posts] 6 years ago
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Graeme continues to be an inspiration. Chapeau!

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TheHatter [770 posts] 6 years ago
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As others have mentioned well written and I totally agree with the sentiments. Good on you Graeme

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valdestana [17 posts] 6 years ago
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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!