Australian bobsledder Simon Dunn has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 29-year-old athlete, who won Attitude’s annual Hot 100 poll last year, made headlines around the world in 2014 before after joining the Australian bobsleigh team – making him the world’s first openly gay man to do so.

In a statement announcing his intention to step away from the sport Dunn, who is currently based in Calgary, Canada, said: “The last few years have been a truly amazing experience. I’ve met some astonishing people and made memories I will cherish forever. For that I will always be grateful.

“I’ve felt a proudness in my own sexuality that I hadn’t felt in the 27 years prior. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin as a proud gay man.”

He continued: “It’s with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the sport of bobsleigh. It’s been a great honour to have been able to not only represent my country but also the LGBT community over the past few years. I’ve always been an advocate for doing exactly what you love regardless of your sexuality.

Dunn also thanked fans for their support, explaining that he kept him going “during the hard times.”

“When I questioned whether the struggle was worth it, you showed me it was. I hope I’ve made you proud and will continue in doing so.”

He added: “Moving forward, I’ll be going back to playing rugby, continuing my advocacy, and I look forward to whatever adventures my future may hold.”

More stories:
Simon Dunn: The homophobic attack that put me in hospital
HOT 100 winner Simon Dunn answers your very personal questions – WATCH