Sunday July 13th, 2014

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, a nine-time Olympic medalist (five gold), ended years of speculation on Sunday by revealing on Australian television that he is gay, according to an Associated Press report.

Swim Daily
This Bar Refaeli and Michael Phelps Swimsuit 2012 photo shoot is our Throwback Thursday gift to you

The 31-year-old had long denied rumors about his sexuality but said he recently realized the truth about himself.

"I'm not straight," Thorpe 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."

"The Thorpedo," as he was nicknamed, checked into a rehab facility in January, citing depression and alcohol abuse.

In his 2012 autobiography "This Is Me," he wrote: "For the record, I am not gay and all of my sexual experiences have been straight. I'm attracted to women, I love children, and aspire to have a family one day."

But on Sunday, he said: "I'm comfortable saying I'm a gay man. 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."

- Chris Mascaro

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