Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe says he’s not so much bothered by persistent speculation that he is gay but more that people would think that he’s lying about it.
‘The thing that I find hurtful about it is that people are questioning kind of my integrity and what I say – that’s the only part that I find hurtful,’ he tells Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Leigh Sales. ‘Like is that … is something that I would be embarrassed about, that I would hide or whatever else.’
Thorpe did the interview to promote his new autobiography, This Is Me.
The 30-year-old athlete, who has won five Olympic medals in his career, discussed being in a difficult situation when denying that he is gay.
‘I don’t want to offend (people) by… getting angry about it, getting frustrated about it,’ he says. ‘The only part that I’m frustrated with is that people think that I’m lying.’
So to what does he attribute the constant speculation?
Thorpe has this theory: ‘I think it’s because I don’t fit into the typical stereotype of what Australian athletes have been – I guess I behave differently, I like different things. I’m a nerd. I’m just someone who happened to be good at sport as well.’
He also says he has avoided relationships not only due to demanding schedule as a world class athlete but also because of his ‘complicated personality.’
Below is video of the interview: