I came in contact with sumo in the beginning of 1988. While preparing for a research stay in Japan, I saw old basho with Takamiyama and Chiyonofuji yusho on German TV. In September that year in Japan, I watched sumo on TV live for the first time and became a fan immediately.
During my 7 years in Japan, in between August 1988 and September 1996, I always followed sumo in Japanese on TV, the sports papers and the sumo periodicals. When preparing to return to Germany, I searched for something I'd have, when the Japanese sources would become inaccessible. Then I found the Sumo ML and became a fan of that.
Real live sumo I watched for the first time in May 2002, in the kokugikan during a visit to Japan.
I hesitated to join the sumo forum for quite a while, but as you may guess, now as a member I have turned to be a fan of it as well.