After years of speculation, Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, 31, announced he was gay (or, “not straight,” as he put it) during a television interview which aired Sunday evening. He claimed during the interview that it wasn’t until the last two weeks that he could actually articulate his own sexuality.
Thorpe, who won five medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, previously denied his sexuality in his 2012 autobiography This Is Me, where he claimed he only dated women and wanted to have children, what he now calls a “lie.” The athlete has recently battled depression and alcohol abuse, and claims that living a lie “didn’t help” with these issues.
He made the international swimming scene at 14 years old when he competed Pan Pacific Championships, and later retired from professional swimming in 2006, despite an attempted comeback in 2011 where he failed to meet the qualifications to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.
The audio of the interview is below: