Australian swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe revealed in an interview that he is gay, confirming years of speculation about his sexuality.
Thorpe sat down for an interview with British broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, which aired on Sunday night in Australia on Channel Ten. Thorpe discussed a wide range of issues, including his battle with depression
"What happened was, I felt that the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity and a little bit of ego comes into this," Thorpe said in a 90-minute interview on the Ten network. "I didn't want people to think that I had lied about everything."
[youtube height=”500″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8zXccQ3G5I[/youtube]
Nicknamed the "Thorpedo" for his speed in the water, Thorpe won a total of five gold medals in Olympic competition, becoming one of Australia's most visible athletes.
He retired twice, in 2006 and again in 2012, but has had a rocky time recently. Thorpe's autobiography, This is Me, was published in August 2013, and detailed his struggles with alcohol and depression. In the book, Thrope denied he was gay.
"I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight," he wrote, according to The Independent. "The thing that I find hurtful about it is that people are questioning my integrity and what I say. That's the only part I find hurtful, that this is something I would be embarrassed about and that I would hide … I try to explain it but I don't know either, but I think it's because I don't fit into the typical stereotype of what a straight athlete would be in the past."
But with the coming out saga behind him, Thorpe said he was looking forward to finding a partner and to having children: "I'd like my own family.
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