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Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

Ian Thorpe

The Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, whose five-medal performance at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney captivated his country has revealed that he is gay.

In an interview with British broadcaster Michael Parkinson screened in Australia last Sunday night, the gold medal winner says that he has dated women in the past but that he is gay.

“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man, and I don’t want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.”

“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.”

Thanking everyone for their kind words, Ian tweeted:

Ricky Martin, Matthew Mitcham and Gareth Thomas and other figures also tweeted their support.