Foto: Karolin Barhammar / Filmriding

Colin Jackson comes out exclusive to SVT

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Colin Jackson is one of the world's best hurdlers. He has also kept secret that he is gay. In a new Swedish tv show, ”Regnbågshjältar”, the British former world champion chooses for the first time to talk about it. ”I have never thought that I have to tell, but I do it because you ask and you are seriously interested in what I have to say,” he says.

14 years ago, Colin Jackson finished a very successful sporting career. He had, among other things, won the World Championships twice, an Olympic silver and four Euro championship gold medals on 110 meter hurdles. He was also world record holder (12,91 seconds).

During all the years as a top athlete and even after completing the athletics career, Colin Jackson had chosen to keep silent about his sexual orientation. He simply never wanted to tell, or thought he should do that, he says in conversation with the former high jumper Kajsa Bergqvist and long jumper Peter Häggström.

”Outed” by ex-boyfriend

In 2006 something happened that forced him to decide whether he would need to ”come out” or not. A man whom he had had a relationship with ”outed” him in an interview with a British newspaper.

Jackson denied that it was true, but felt he needed to talk to his parents, and he did.

– My mom looked at me and said, ”is that true in the newspaper?”

– Yes, that's true, I said. I could not say that it was not true to her, he says.

– The only thing she said was; ”why are people so disgraceful?”. Then I realized I had very good parents, Jackson says with a laugh.

Watch a clip from the interview with Colin Jackson in the player above.

The whole episode premiers Sunday, September 3rd at 21:45 on SVT1 and SVT Play.

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