Wednesday Morning Man: Michael Gunning!
Gunning holds dual Jamaican and British citizenship, and chose to compete for the Jamaican national swim team in 2016. He is the current national record holder for the 200 metre butterfly, 200 metre freestyle and 400 metre freestyle.
Last year, he won the Pride Award at the Attitude Pride Awards for his efforts in visualizing LGBTQ+ around the globe in sports.
He remains determined to represent Jamaica at the Olympics next year. Despite the pandemic, he is maintaining his focus on being a role model as a Black LGBTQ swimmer.
He recently told Outsports: When I was growing up, I had so many role models and none of them were Black. I never really looked up to any Black role models because there weren’t really any in swimming…When I was younger, there is that saying: ‘Black people can’t swim.’ And I think one of my biggest goals was just to try and prove everyone wrong and make it on teams, [win] international medals…I just wanted to be that person that people can look up to out in Jamaica that shows that Black people can swim.”