Ian Thorpe has thanked fans for their support after he recently revealed that he is gay.
The five-time Olympic swimming champion posted a message on Twitter, writing, “To Everyone who has sent a message of support I sincerely Thank you!”
Ian, 31, was speaking to Sir Michael Parkinson in an emotional interview on Channel 10 when he made the admission.
Ian Thorpe had previously denied that he was gay in his 2012 autobiography
“I”ve thought about this for a long time,” he said. “I”m not straight. This is only something that, very recently – in the past two weeks – I”ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me.”
The Sydney-born athlete, who is Australia”s most decorated swimmer, added that his upbringing at a same-sex school had affected his perception of his sexuality.
“I went to an all-boys school, so if you”re accused of being gay, the answer is no and you get ready for a fight,” said Ian. “I didn”t know at that stage – I was too young.
“I”ve wanted to [come out] for some time but I couldn”t, I didn”t feel as though I could. What happened was I felt the lie had become so big that I didn”t want people to question my integrity.”
To Everyone who has sent a message of support I sincerely Thank you!
— Ian Thorpe (@IanThorpe) July 13, 2014
Ian previously denied that he was gay by writing in his 2012 autobiography This Is Me that he was “attracted to women” and aspired to have a family and children one day.
The swimming star also opened up about suffering from depression, having suicidal thoughts and drinking excessive amounts.
Back in February, Ian was taken to hospital after he was found “dazed and disorientated” in Sydney. While his management said that he was being treated for an operation, reports at the time claimed that he was in rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.
The aquatic champion made his Olympic Games debut in Sydney in 2000, where he scooped three gold medals. Ian then went on to participate in the Athens event, winning two medals, before retiring in 2006.