Ian Thorpe has come out as a gay man.
The 31-year-old Australian Olympian opened up about his sexuality during an interview with Channel 10‘s Michael Parkinson (via AP).
“I’ve thought about this for a long time. I’m not straight,” Ian said. “And this is only something that very recently — we’re talking in the past two weeks — I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me exactly that.”
“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man,” Ian continued. “And I don’t want young people to feel the same way that I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.”
He added, “I wanted to make my family proud. I wanted to make my nation proud of me. And part of me didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay…But I’m telling not only Australia, but I’m telling the world, that I am.”
Ian later tweeted, “To Everyone who has sent a message of support I sincerely Thank you!”
In case you didn’t know, Ian won three Olympic gold medals and two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In Athens, in 2004, he was awarded one bronze, one silver and two more gold medals.