Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas quickly become a hero to so many because of the openness and courage he displayed when coming out publicly as a gay man in 2009.
It also didn’t hurt that he has one of the best physiques in all of sport.
That chiseled body is on full display on in the upcoming ‘Naked Issue" of the UK magazine Attitude. Thomas is on the cover wearing only his hands which strategically cover his private parts.
The rugby hero is on the cover in honor of the upcoming London Olympics.
He’s not the only nude dude featured in the issue. Also in the buff are reality star Jay of Geordie Shore, singer Rod Thomas, Olympic high jumper Robbie Grabarz and out actor Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who). The spread helps raise awareness of the National AIDS Trust HIV testing campaign.
Cover man Thomas was one of the very few openly gay active professional athletes in the world before announcing his retirement from his sport last fal. He said he could no longer give his full commitment to the game.
Thomas was voted most influential gay person in the UK and received Stonewall’s hero of the year award in 2010.
There are plans to makes a feature film of Thomas’s life with Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke as star. There have been conflicting reports in recent months over whether Rourke, 59, was still attached to the project. But no new star has been announced although actor Tom Hardy’s name has been floated.