Out-gay gymnast Heath Thorpe says he’s “heartbroken” Australia’s gymnastics body failed to select him for the upcoming World Championships. The competition take place in Antwerp, Belgium, this October.
In late May, Thorpe, 22, won the Australian All-Around Championships, one of the country’s highest honors in his sport.
Earlier in May, Thorpe was part of the team that won Australia a place in the World Championships. They beat New Zealand in the Oceania Continental Championships. Thorpe won that event’s floor event for the second year in a row.
Given his performance at that event and his recent winning streak, it was assumed he’d be selected to represent Australia at the World Championships. This would be him in a good position to represent his country at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
As the current Australian All-Around National Champion, his absence from the team has shocked many.
On Instagram, Thorpe said, “I am absolutely heartbroken to share that I have not been selected to the Australian team for the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships.
“Despite my many results and improvements this year alone, including my recent Australian All-Around title, I will not be one of the five Aussie gymnasts afforded an opportunity to compete in the biggest Olympic qualifier come October.
“At this time, I am not allowed to speak to the selection process and what has occurred, but am hopeful that the subsequent findings are made public in due course.
“It is an impossible task to summarise the overwhelming emotions that I am currently experiencing… but know that I will have more words to share soon with my friends, family and fans.
“I wish the team selected nothing but the best and hope they all have a successful and healthy Worlds campaign.”
Thorpe’s Olympic hopes rest on World Cup series
Thorpe told Gymanstics Now he’d been among eight names invited to take part in video selection activities for Gymnastics Australia. He was not among the five names to succeed.
“It is obviously a huge blow to my chances to qualify for the Paris Olympics,” Thorpe said. “The 2023 world championships are the biggest Olympic qualifier, so to not be afforded such an opportunity is really devastating and shattering. The all-around qualification method would have been my best chance given my recent upwards trajectory.
“I guess now all I can do is switch my focus to the world cups early next year (floor and high bar, specifically) as well as holding out hope that a spot will remain via the all-around at Oceania Championships in April or May. Obviously, this all depends on myself being selected for said events.”
Gymnastics Australia posted about its selected World Championship team yesterday on Facebook. Many commentators wanted to know one thing: Where’s Heath Thorpe?