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Australian swimming champion Ian Thorpe quizzed over gay rumors

Australian swimming champion Ian Thorpe quizzed over gay rumors

Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe will be quizzed about his sexuality, in a frank interview with British journalist Michael Parkinson.

In his typically frank manner, Parkinson asks Thorpe if he is gay, a rumor he has repeatedly denied throughout his career.

In a preview for the interview, Parkinson asks Thorpe: ‘You’ve always said that you’re not gay… is all of that true?’

Viewers will have to wait until the interview is shown on Australian TV channel TEN on 13 July called Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview.

Thorpe, 31, is one of Australia’s most successful Olympians. He has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any Australian.

The Sydney native retired in 2006, only to announce his return in 2011. Parkinson said he was eager to interview Thorpe because of his intense athletic career, and his life outside of the swimming pool.

‘Ian Thorpe has always been near the top of my list to interview. The reasons are obvious. Not many athletes can claim to be the best of all time. Ian can,’ said Parkinson.

‘The story of a boy who was a teenage World Champion, conquered the world and then seemed to give it all away is a fascinating and intriguing one.’

‘His fight against depression offers a unique insight into the darker side of celebrity and success.’

Thorpe has repeatedly denied rumours he is gay. In 2012, while promoting his autobiography, he spoke to an Australian reporter about the rumors.

‘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 said.

‘I don’t want to offend (people) by… getting angry about it, getting frustrated about it. The only part that I’m frustrated with is that people think that I’m lying.’