The legendary American tennis player Martina Navratilova after the wedding with the Russian model Julia Lemigova called on all gay athletes to stop hiding their orientation. It is reported by the BBC.

In my youth, I was just a woman with an unconventional sexual orientation and could not even dream of marriage. But about ten years ago, the first thought occurred to me that very soon same-sex marriages would become legal. And it happened, said Navratilova.

The athlete expressed the hope that her example will inspire all gay tennis players who are afraid to come out, fearing a negative reaction from society.

The wedding ceremony of Navratilova and Lemigova took place on Monday, December 15 in New York. The 58-year-old athlete made an offer to her 42-year-old girlfriend in September 2014 during the US Open Tennis Championships.

Lemigova winner of the title Miss USSR-1990. She won the last beauty contest in the Soviet Union before the collapse of the country. In 1991, the model became the second vice-miss at the Miss Universe contest.

Navratilova was born in Czechoslovakia, but in 1981 adopted American citizenship. During her career, she won 167 singles and 177 doubles tournaments. Both of these results are the absolute record of all time for men and women. Navratilova 18 times became the winner of the Grand Slam series tournaments.