Spy Games fans certainly weren't surprised to watch Brock Thompson take home the title of ultimate spy and $100,000 during Monday's finale of the Bravo covert competition show, but the Air Force veteran never took his season of top level performance for granted heading into the final challenges against Christina Randall and Chelsey Mori. After his big win, Thompson opened up to PopCulture.com about the valuable lessons he took away from Spy Games (produced by Kinetic Content), as well as the unexpected impact his story has had on people tuning in.
From the season's start, Thompson knew his background serving as a gay man in the Air Force under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as well as his biology education and CrossFit training, would position him to do well in the challenges both mentally and physically. But it wasn't until he was down to just the final few competitors he realized he could actually take home the ultimate win, lighting a fire within.
"I wanted to win for me, and I wanted win for all those gay kids out there who need that one person on TV who they're like, 'Oh, I can relate to that,'" he told PopCulture.
Growing up as a gay kid in rural South Dakota and serving under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Thompson said the final four is where "all those moments came into play," because he knew there was no one to lean on but himself.
With Mori eliminated after a strenuous test, Thompson went head-to-head against Randall in a culmination of all their spy training throughout the season. Despite a stellar performance, leaving his jacket behind in the finale mission room had Thompson convinced he had made the ultimate mistake, to the point he was concentrated most during the naming of the winner on "[trying] to not to look so disappointed."
Winning Spy Games, Thompson has nothing but gratitude and appreciation for all his fellow players: "I played against some of the toughest, most beautiful people across the country and Canada. It's like, holy crap, I beat these wonderful people! I hope they're proud of me."
Since sharing his story on TV, Thompson has been honored to have several gay men with similar backgrounds reach out to him for advice or just to tell him they related — something he never could have imagined would stem from a competition show.
The whole experience, he added, has taught him "not to settle."
"Not saying that in my life before I was used to settling, but when you're a small town gay kid, no one told you you're capable of something more," he explained. "No one told you you deserve more."
In a message to the people who saw their own life and journey reflected in him, Thompson advised, "Sometimes life sucks, and people are going to beat you down, but at the end of the day, let your freak flag fly. Plant it on the highest mountain you want to."
Photo credit: Bravo