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Australian boxer Harry Garside has revealed that he planned on wearing a dress to the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old didn't end up going ahead with the idea, opting to don colourful nail polish during his quarter-final victory over Kazakhstan's Zakir Safiullin instead.
Garside, who also practices ballet while working as a plumber back home in Victoria, says he wants to challenge gender stereotypes on the world stage.
"I got these [the nail polish] today. I just want to break stereotypes, to be honest. I'm a big one for that," he said.
"There's a lot of people out there who feel like they have to be something because they're a male or a female.
"I'm all about just being different."
By making it to the semi-finals and guaranteeing himself at least a bronze medal, Garside earned Australia its first Olympic boxing podium in 33 years.
But while his talent inside the ring is unquestionable, the mullet-sporting Aussie clearly wants to make an impact outside it too.
And according to the lad himself, he had a grand plan in place for the opening ceremony which would have undoubtedly made a huge statement.
"I was going to wear a dress to the opening ceremony, but I didn't want to offend anyone," Garside said.
"I feel like some people might take it the wrong way, so this is my way of showcasing something."
Garside has garnered plenty of support from fans around the globe - not just Down Under.
A tough (but certainly doable) task now lies ahead for him though as he looks set to take on world No.1 Andy Cruz for a shot at Olympic gold.
"(I was thinking) a thousand things... I know Kazakhstan is an extremely good boxing nation. I knew it was really close," he said.
"I'm very grateful that the (Olympic) Boxing Task Force have brought this in (score updates after each round) because if we didn't know that I would have just kept boxing the way I was boxing and I probably would have lost that fight.
"It's crazy mate.
"We deserve it, we work bloody hard down there. I love my country so much.
"There's not many boxers (in Australia) - there's heaps of other sports - so I'm just grateful to do this for the next generation of athletes leading into the 2032 Brisbane Games."
Featured Image Credit: PA/Instagram/@harry_garside
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