Ian Thorpe Says In Interview “I Am A Gay Man”

Jul 26, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe smiles during a press conference one day before the London 2012 Olympic Games at Westfield Shopping Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

SYDNEY, Australia, July 13. IN a year when gay football and basketball players have been at the forefront of the conversation in sports in the United States, swimming Olympic legend Ian Thorpe has admitted that he is gay in a television interview.

Speaking with noted journalist Michael Parkinson in a lengthy interview on Australia’s Channel Ten, Ian Thorpe said he started dodging the question at a young age, believing it was inappropriate for journalists to ask a teenager about sexuality.

“I’m not straight,” the five-time Olympic champion told Parkinson. “This is only something that very recently … I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me.”

Thorpe, 31, talked about much more in the interview, including his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. In the first video player below, watch Thorpe’s admission of his sexuality from his own lips. In the second player, listen to an extended portion of the interview.