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Ian Thorpe (The Thorpedo) to Retire in 2008

Ian_thorpe_shirtlessAustralian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe says he'll retire after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but right now he's preparing for a returning to the pool at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

He told the Courier Mail that fame has comes with its price and talked about the hecklers that often follow him:

"It varies from time. It's not pleasant. It's a downer but you have to look at it from a logical point of view. If someone yells abuse at you in the street you have to understand that they don't know you personally so they don't really have a basis or a reason for why they're yelling. If someone screams a profanity at you and you don't know them, you just have to disregard it as you walk down the street and that's kind of what I have learned to do. I just think 'well, we've never sat down and spoken and I don't know why you don't like me but you've got more of an issue than I do'. They do (target my sexuality) to an extent. But I think we're past that now. I think most people are over that most of the time. But that's not what people are always yelling abuse at me about....I don't know what it is, but it happens and it's ridiculous."

"People think they know me by what other people generally write or what they see. But it's a very inaccurate opinion because by the time someone has read something about me it is third-hand, usually. In a lot of cases I'm not as nice as what people think I am. I'm not as good, I'm not as bad, or whatever else. Whatever thoughts or feeling people have about me they are usually exaggerated. I am not an attention seeker. I by no means want to be more famous. I live every single day in the public eye and I don't get that luxury of switching it on and off."

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  1. Oh, Ian's so cute.

    Posted by: matt f. | Jan 27, 2006 11:14:10 AM

  2. Ian's a hottie, no doubt about it...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Jan 27, 2006 11:54:20 AM

  3. The olympics will never be the same.

    Posted by: Donald | Jan 27, 2006 12:11:33 PM

  4. >>I live every single day in the public eye and I don't get that luxury of switching it on and off."

    Finally, a "celebrity" who gets it! You can't switch it off when you want, so if you live your life in the spotlight, you'd better be "camera ready". It's not fair, but that's the way it is, and Ian understands that better than those crybabies in Hollywood who beat up reporters, and crash their cars, trying to escape having their picture taken.

    Good luck Ian!

    Posted by: Jay Croce | Jan 27, 2006 2:32:01 PM

  5. Probably we're all a bit proud of Ian Thorpe - it's a thrill to watch him compete.

    I feel much the same about Greg Louganis, another brilliantly gifted athlete.

    In a sense, they both represent the home team.

    Posted by: BAZ | Jan 27, 2006 8:51:54 PM

  6. But didn't he sign some multi-million dollar deal with some sports gear company recently?

    Doesn't like the attention fame brings, but sure does enjoy the money it does.

    Good God.

    Posted by: M | Jan 27, 2006 11:15:26 PM

  7. I hope he has the arrangements you describe, M. Competitive swimming doesn't lead to a professional-league swimming career. There are no pro teams.

    Posted by: BAZ | Jan 28, 2006 6:27:45 AM

  8. Have I missed something? When I originally read Ian's comments about the heckling it felt like a coming out story in a way... him admiting he is gay. He's hoping that everyone else has moved on. But doesn't suggest that its not true.

    Sad all the same but if he isn't gay then we should should all take his comments to heart and leave him alone. Or get a boyfriend.

    Posted by: J.B. | Jan 28, 2006 8:26:38 AM

  9. Other articles based on these quotes stipulate that he's straight, though don't quote him saying so directly. I believe he has said so on the record, but who knows?

    Posted by: fi | Jan 30, 2006 7:25:43 PM

  10. Gay or not he's an awesome swimmer, come back Thorpy, one more bash in China

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 27, 2007 9:54:33 PM

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