Ian Thorpe has won five Olympic gold medals in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia; the most won by any Australian. When he was 14, he became the youngest male athlete to ever represent Australia and when he was 16 he was first asked about his sexuality by the media.
The question Are you gay? seems to have popped up during Ian Thorpe’s career over and over again and the response was always the same I am not gay. Less than 12 hours ago, on Australian television, Ian Thorpe admitted to being gay in front of interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson. The 90-minute interview revealed many sides of Thorpe that the world only suspected.
Ian Thorpe said the words he had been avoiding his entire career:
I’m not straight and this is only something that very recently – we’re talking in the past two weeks – I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me.
The reason why he decided to come out was that he felt the lie had become too big and that he didn’t want people to think that he had been lying about everything else in his life and start questioning his integrity.
Apparently his mother was the only person who was shocked, as friends and fans suspected he was gay for years.
The swimmer will finally be able to breathe out, as he puts it and he’s quite lucky because the Australian public’s response to the news was overwhelmingly positive.
I was concerned about the reaction from my family, my friends. I’m pleased to say that in telling them, and especially my parents, they told me that they love me and they support me. And for young people out there, know that that’s usually what the answer is. I’m a little bit ashamed that I didn’t come out earlier, that I didn’t have the strength to do it, I didn’t have the courage to do it, to break that lie. But everyone goes on their own path to do this.
Are you shocked by the fact that Ian Thorpe is gay? Did you ever suspect? What are your thoughts about coming out of the closet? Do you think this admission will have any effect on his career? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.