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Ian Thorpe: ‘I wanted to explain why I hadn’t come out’

By Nick Bond

Australian Olympic champion Ian Thorpe reflects on life one year on from his much-publicised coming out in a new interview that will air on Aussie TV this week.

In the latest episode of ABC chat show Home Delivery, Thorpe tells host Julia Zemiro about his decision to come out in an interview with Michael Parkinson last year after many years of deflecting and denying rumours about his sexuality.


“That period was really interesting for me… there was this period of about two weeks where I had done the interview and was just waiting around to say, ‘hey, I’m out — I’m comfortable with it,” he says.

“I wanted to explain why I hadn’t come out. Part of me felt you shouldn’t have to and it was just something I had never felt was appropriate,” he said.

“Before then, it was something I had never been comfortable with talking about to anyone, let alone the world.”

Watch a snippet from the interview below:

In an interview with GQ last November, Thorpe admitted he felt “ashamed” that he hadn’t come out before the age of 31, saying, “I didn’t have the courage to do it, to break that lie.”