By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

July 1 - London 2012 have become the first Olympics and Paralympics to launch a special pin badge aimed at the gay community.

The first "Pride Pin Badge" was presented to former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas, who recently announced that he was gay, at a special ceremony at the London 2012 headquarters in Canary Wharf attended by Stephen Frost, the head of diversity and inclusion for LOCOG.

There are two badges - one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics - which combines the London 2012 logos with a rainbow flag, which is used to represent gay pride.

The pins will cost £5 each.

It is claimed that 35-year-old Thomas, who played 103 matches for Wales and the British Lions and now plays with Crusaders in the Super League, as the world's only current professional athlete in a team sport who is openly gay. 

Thomas (pictured centred) said: "I will wear this badge with pride.

"I am honoured to be standing here today and I look forward to an amazing Games in 2012."

Frost claimed that ending homophobia in sport was among the aims of London staging the Olympics.

He said: "Given that we are the biggest events in the world, and we are saying LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people are absolutely welcome as part of that, that is a step-change in how LGBT athletes, sportsmen and women, can feel comfortable in taking part in their sport.

"If we can reach a young gay guy in Doncaster who is in the closet or a young gay woman in Wales who is in the closet and they can see the biggest event in the world with LGBT people at the heart of that, then the whole thing is about inclusion."

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