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“I Am So Sorry”: Sports World Shattered by Unfair Treatment of Olympian Ahead of World Gymnastics Championship 2023

Published 08/04/2023, 9:48 AM EDT

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Making the cut for any sports competition is always tough. There are bound to be those who got selected, and those who were left out. Sometimes the latter also end up challenging the decision of their team. One such situation has been developing in Australian elite gymnastics for some time now. Heath Thorpe, the breakout Australian gymnast was shattered when he received a devastating snub from the country’s World Championship Gymnastics roster.

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Despite his recent triumphs on the mat, Heath was left out of the marquee event, leaving him heartbroken and determined to fight back. As one of the few out gay male gymnasts competing on the international stage, his journey has been filled with both success and struggle. However, he believes that despite his great run of form, he was unfairly left out and he is willing to challenge his team’s decisions.

The Heath Thorpe saga


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Just last month, Australia’s gymnastics body made the shocking decision not to select Heath for the prestigious World Championships. This decision felt quite peculiar since earlier this spring, he secured victory at the Australian All-Around Championships, one of the country’s premier competitions. Similarly, Thorpe was also part of the team that earned Australia a coveted spot in the World Championships. In fact, he played a crucial role in the floor event, which the team won for the second consecutive year. Despite his recent wins, he was still snubbed for the Championships that will take place in Belgium. Being the fighter he is, Thorpe took his case to the National Sports Tribunal, where his appeal partially upheld his case.

But to his dismay, Australia Gymnastics refused to reverse its decision, leaving him emotionally drained and facing a seemingly insurmountable financial burden. With legal fees amounting to a staggering $19,000, Heath’s financial situation is precarious, and he’s turning to the community for support. In an effort to continue his fight, he has set up a GoFundMe page. This snub will also affect Heath’s journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics, as the World Championships serve as the most crucial Olympic qualifier. An athlete excluded from this competition severely hinders their chances of representing their country at the Olympics. Frustrated with the outcome and his financial debt, Thorpe took to Twitter where he informed his fans of his ordeal and his fans were quick to support him with messages of support.


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Fans react to the gymnastics star’s ordeal

Naturally, his loyal fans were heartbroken for him and showed their unwavering support. Many have already donated to help him in his battle against this disheartening setback. One fan wrote…

Another user was equally puzzled with the federations’ reason for snubbing Thorpe and tweeted, “This makes GA’s decision even more bizarre. Their ranking and final team decision are completely incongruous. I’m so sorry Heath. No disrespect to the athletes selected, but you should have absolutely been on that team.”

One user also criticized the selection logic and penned…

Another passionate fan shared Thorpe’s emotion and tweeted, “This is all so disappointing. I’m so sorry”

One user was angry at the whole situation and wrote, “Heath I don’t even know you buddy but this makes my blood boil”


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The gymnastics community, both in Australia and around the world, knows the immense talent and dedication that Thorpe brings to the sport. His skills are undeniable, and to him, it’s clear that his inclusion in the World Championships should have been a given. With that notion, Thorpe continues to fight to reclaim his place on the international stage.

Watch this story: Simone Biles Enjoys Her ‘Fun Friday’ as the Gymnastics Queen Chills With Her Husband Alongside Her Pool

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Written by:

Vaibhav Singh Bisht


One take at a time

Vaibhav Singh Bisht is a sports writer for Essentially Sports. He holds a Masters's degree in Mass Communication with a specialization in Advertising and Corporate Communication. Vaibhav has experience working in the Public Relations industry previously.
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Edited by:

Purva Jain