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San Jose Athlete Could Be 1st Openly Gay Male Gymnast On US Olympic Team

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - If Josh Dixon makes the cut at the US Olympic team trials in San Jose on Thursday, he could also make history as the first openly gay male gymnast to compete at the Olympics.

Dixon has been dreaming of going to the Olympics since he first started copying his sisters' moves, at age 6 or 7.

"I was trying stuff in the backyard, and I don't know, I just fell in love with gymnastics as a sport," he said.

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

A Willow Glen High School graduate who became an NCAA champion at Stanford University, Dixon said he hopes to make headlines with his performance rather than his sexuality when he competes for a spot on Team USA in London this summer.

"I'm focusing on the gymnastics. I could care less about anything else," Dixon said.

There were 10 openly gay athletes at the 2008 Olympics, but there's never been a gymnast who came out before competing. Dixon decided to come out when a teammate told him he could become a role model for other gay athletes.

"It's OK to be yourself and do what you do and the world won't judge you for it," Dixon said.

The 22-year-old said some young gay athletes have hailed him as a role model, but overall the reaction at the Olympic training center and elsewhere has been, so what?

"There was no reaction. It's not really a thing, I guess, if you want to call it a thing," he said.

"My closest friends, and every one at school, and the people I was closest to knew, so it was no big deal."

Dixon would rather talk about recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and making the six-man team. The Olympic trials are in his hometown, but Dixon sees no home field advantage, other than that family and friends are on hand to cheer him on.

And if Dixon does make the team, he said his goal is to be remembered not for making gay rights history, but for bringing home a gold medal.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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