Swim and Out

Aussie Swimmer Ian Thorpe Equally Fluid About His Sexuality

Australian swimmer turned BBC commentator Ian Thorpe doesn’t seem to have a straight answer when it comes to his sexuality.

An interview Thorpe did with The Sunday Telegraph‘s Harry Wallop is making the rounds on the interwebs, tantalizingly titled “Ian Thorpe: am I gay? It’s at the stage I just say ‘whatever’”

Thorpe is Australia’s most successful Olympian with five gold medals and the most successful athlete of the 2000 Sydney games, where he snatched three of them. Thorpe was only seventeen at the time.

For the 2012 games, the 6 ft, 5 in Aussie provided commentary on the proceedings to great success — Wallop refers to him as “the philosopher king of the BBC sofa” — though his style is apparently at the center of Thorpe’s appeal. He wears Armani exclusively, though Thorpe explains simply because he knows “exactly how it’s going to fit.”

What also has people talking is Thorpe’s sexuality. Following the admission that Thorpe’s forthcoming autobiography will have “more than one revelation,” Wallop wonders what it could possibly be, then:

The night before this interview his agent rings me up and, out of the blue, says: “The one thing you can’t ask him about is his sexuality.” I had no intention of doing so, but now that he’s made it an issue, I am intrigued.

Thorpe is not homosexual, I am assured, but this will not stop people on the internet speculating about his svelte looks, cultured interests and friendships.

“I tick all the boxes,” he admits. “There is no way I can answer this. It really has just got to the stage when I say, ‘whatever’. It’s not a big deal for me. It doesn’t impact on my life what people think.

“What I don’t like about it is that people think I’m being dishonest. That’s what’s so hurtful in all of this. I don’t live my life as an open book, but what I do say, I don’t retract. That is me.”

And there you have it. Or you don’t. Depending on whatever “it” is. If “it” is an admission of his sexuality, then no, you don’t have that at all. If “it” is a nice soft shoe ’round the issue of his sexuality, then, yes — there you have “it.” Of course, just because a guy loves gardening and Italian luxury doesn’t mean he’s gay.

It means he’s 1950s gay…which is just being a gentleman nowadays.