Matthew Mitcham, the Australian Olympic team diver who outed himself to the public by applying for a Johnson & Johnson Athlete Family Support Program for his boyfriend Lachlan, was awarded a $5,000 grant by the program last week.
Online coverage of Matthew’s battle to compete at the Games over some weeks generated considerable internal support amongst J&J staff, a company spokesman said.
The applications were judged by a panel on how compelling their story was and the role their support or family has played in their preparations for the Beijing Games.Â
The Australian Olympic Committee also needed to approve each applicant.
Mitcham has been asked to share his Olympic experience with Johnson and Johnson staff when he returns.
We are very pleased to support Matthew in his Olympic dream by assisting his partner to be by his side at the Games. All our J&J staff will track his progress with interest and we wish them every success, the spokesman said.
Mitcham is currently under a training lockdown and was unavailable to speak about the funding success.
SSO reported last week the diver had missed out on the family support grant after being told the funding went to another teammate.
Readers inundated us with offers of financial help for Mitcham and his partner to attend the Games, all of which were passed on to the diver’s management.
Upon hearing the news of the grant’s approval with discretionary funds, one supporter who had offered his help through this paper further offered to match the $5,000 grant so Mitcham’s mother could also join him in Beijing.