Swiss Wrestler Breaks Closet's Hold, Comes Out as Gay

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday March 11, 2020

Curdin Orlik is a star wrestler in Switzerland, and he'd just proven it by breaking a chokehold many gay men never do: That of the closet.

In coming out, the 27-year-old has also broken down a wall of silence in becoming the first non-retired pro male openly gay athlete in Switzerland, media sources noted.

Orlik's sport is "Schwingen," or "Swiss wrestling," in which competitors wear special athletic garments with belts that allow for different sorts of holds and throws than are seen in other forms of wrestling. "Schwingen" is a national sport in Switzerland.

Orlik came out in an interview with "The Magazine," a Swiss publication, where he described the disheartening experience of hearing anti-LGBTQ comments at school and in sports.

Saying that he's not by nature someone who engages in public displays of affection, Orlik added the heart-wrenching comment that he longed to be with another man in an intimate way. He said that he knew he was gay from the age of 12, but the anti-LGBTQ remarks he heard caused him to stifle his authentic self.

Now, though, Orlik said, he has come to accept that being gay "is me," and indicated relief that "it's out" - the truth about himself, that is - for the world to know.

Taking to Instagram, Orlik posted:

Wow, I am overwhelmed by the large number of positive reactions that you have sent me through a variety of channels

Added the groundbreaking athlete:

With your wonderful feedback, I am now starting a new, open and free period of life. Thank you very much - with all my heart - A special thanks goes to my parents and everyone else who supported me early on.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.