British champion trampoline gymnast Luke Strong retired from competition two years ago. Since then, the European and world medalist has been traveling the world in his speedo.
Now that’s our kind of sport!
Strong, who publicly came out as bisexual in 2020, recently enjoyed two beachside vacations in Tel Aviv and South Florida.
We’re hoping to tag along for the next trip. But in the meantime, pics will suffice!
The 29-year-old Brit has an inspiring story. He overcame a horrific leg injury in 2009, which almost ended his career before it began. His coach at the time, Jay Scouler, described it as the “worst” injury he’s ever seen.
“The doctors said they may take his leg off. They were talking about amputation,” he said.
But Strong didn’t lose his leg, or even much time on the mat. He returned to gymnastics a year later and captured bronze at the British championships.
Strong reflected on his triumph when he announced his retirement in 2021.
“I was told by [the GB] performance director that I would never make it to senior level in the sport and I didn’t have what it takes to be a professional athlete,” he told the BBC. “So it feels great to be sat here today with five British titles and numerous European, World Cup and World Championship medals, which is something I am so proud of!”
Talk about proving people wrong. Strong narrowly missed making the British Olympic team in 2012 and was a reserve in 2016.
A perusal through Strong’s Instagram shows his transformation from cute twink to muscle hunk. He’s added a lot of bulk over the years, along with a beautiful array of tattoos.
Though Strong says he didn’t purposefully hide his sexuality, he publicly came out in July 2020 during an interview with BBC. In it, he recalls how he broke down and started crying when a coach once asked him about his sexual orientation.
“I remember just crying and I didn’t really know why,” he said. “That was the first person I really expressed my sexuality to.”
During the same conversation, Strong recalls the bullying he endured as a young man who excelled at gymnastics.
“I think like most people in the LGBTQ community, growing up is always a little bit difficult,” he said. “Especially wearing a leotard, doing gymnastics, doing the splits—you get the typical ‘you’re a fairy’ and the gay jokes.”
With that in mind, Strong has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since coming out. He once spoke on a panel highlighting the issues for LGBTQ+ folx in Sri Lanka, where homosexuality is illegal.
“For me, it’s so important to be able to use my voice to help people in the LGBTQ+ community any way I can,” he told Outsports. “To have the opportunity to share my own experience and story with people in Sri Lanka is amazing, especially given that they still criminalize our community.”
Out and proud, Strong says the bullying stopped once he started living his truth.
“I actually got less jokes about being gay once I actually came out than before, which is crazy,” he said. “Before you come out or say that you’re gay or bi or lesbian, I feel like people are pushing it on you. You must be gay, you must be gay.”
Before COVID, Strong intended to train for the Tokyo Olympics, which were slated to take place that summer. But a lingering ankle injury prevented him from competing, and he announced his retirement the following year.
“Feels weird to be writing this as I thought I’d do trampoline until I was 85 but today feels like the right time to announce my retirement from Gymnastics,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Gymnastics has been my life for 16 years and it’s enabled me to travel and experience different cultures around the world, and meet so many incredible people. It was always my dream to do trampoline as a ‘job’ even though every teacher told me that wasn’t a thing. I feel so lucky that I was able to do what I love as a career and get to spend my time chasing my dreams with so many other inspiring people.”
Shortly thereafter, Strong embarked on an international tour, visiting 10 countries over a span of six months. Much to our delight, his speedo accompanied him along the way.
Strong has kept up a robust traveling regimen since then, leading us to wonder whether his full-time job is actually beach. Not a bad gig if you can find it!
In addition to Tel Aviv, he’s also visited the Mediterranean island of Cyprus this summer.
We can’t wait to see where Strong travels next. His speedo makes for great company.
Scroll down for more pics of Strong looking sexy around the world…