Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview

The interview has received heavy and sometimes unusual from Australia's Channel TEN, but many commentators say Thorpe's sexuality is unimportant

Ian Thorpe has revealed that he is gay to Michael Parkinson, in an interview to be screened on Sunday evening, say reports.

Thorpe tells Parkinson that he is gay, but has dated women in the past, according to Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Parkinson has described the interview, which took place last month and will be broadcast on Australia's channel TEN, as one of the best he has ever done.

Ian Thorpe and friend sitting behind Sir Michael Parkinson at Wimbledon last week Ian Thorpe and friend sitting behind Sir Michael Parkinson at Wimbledon last week

“I think his sexuality is no one’s business but his own," said Parkinson. "But I think it’s one of the best interviews I have ever done in terms of [Thorpe] talking about depression and things like that,” he said.

The Olympic swimmers' sexuality has long been a point of speculation.

TEN released a trailer for the interview earlier this week, ending the advert on a cliffhanger and promising that no question would be off limits.

"You've always said that you're not gay, is all of that true?" Sir Michael asks during the trailer. It ends there, and viewers are encouraged to tune into the show on Sunday night.

Thorpe has consistently denied that he is gay. Writing in his autobiography, This Is Me, he said: "I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight.

"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."

When the trailer was released last week, commentators said that it did not matter whether he was gay or not and many were confused by TEN's attempts to build controversy around the story. After the channel released the advert of Thorpe and Parkinson's interview, many on Twitter lent their support to the Olympic swimmer.

Thorpe, one of Australia’s most successful Olympians, has broken 22 world records, won five golds, three silvers and one bronze throughout his career. He also has 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals, 11 World Championship titles, and nine Pan Pacific titles.

Earlier this year, Thorpe was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic after he was found disorientated in a street in Sydney.

Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview airs on Sunday July 13 at 6:30pm on TEN.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms