Ian Thorpe | Michael Phelps | Sports | Swimming

Ian Thorpe: Gay Rumors No Big Deal


Ian Thorpe gave an interview to Australia's Foxtel channel over the weekend in an effort to quell allegations that he is fat, unfit, and "enjoying too much of the company of Hollywood superstars including Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams and Joel Edgerton."

Of course he's not going to be in perfect shape — he's been ill and injured. Thorpe suffered from glandular fever earlier this year and recently fractured his hand. The Olympian says he trains 40 hours a week but also that he thinks about quitting every day: "Over the last couple of months, I toyed with the question of quitting virtually daily. I love training, I love racing, but you know the things that come with it -- the unwanted attention, all of these things that affect my family. They get to you and it does affect you. You know, I start to question is this actually worth it, is it what I want, because I can't turn it off and I can't get away from it."

Thorpe said that although he moved to L.A. to avoid media scrutiny and get some privacy, that hasn't happened, and paparazzi await his every move. No comment on whether he's adopted the approach of his compatriots in dealing with them.

Foxtel's reporter couldn't help asking about ongoing speculation regarding Thorpe's sexuality, which he responded is no big deal:

"People can think whatever they want to think and people will tell you black and blue that I am gay. There is no basis for what they are saying. It's no big deal because that doesn't affect any part of my life. I don't care what people are saying in that regard because it doesn't mean when I get in my car I worry about what's going to happen today or am I being followed. It's not embarrassing."

Thorpe has also discovered one of L.A.'s culinary delights, the In-N-Out Double-Double burger, protein-style (wrapped in lettuce leaves rather than a bun). Says Thorpe: "It's really, really good. If anyone comes here, go and have it..."

We'll agree with that. Meanwhile, U.S. rival Michael Phelps won five gold medals at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships over the weekend, breaking world records in the 200m IM, 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle relay.

Last week, he told Ian Thorpe to bring it to the world swimming championships in Melbourne next year: "I just hope he wants to get back in shape because if I am going to be world champion, I have to beat the best and Ian is a champion."


A few more shots of Phelps and his teammates from the Pan Pacific Championships after the jump...

Neil Walker and Phelps.

P1_1 P2

Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay.

Thorpe - Me, LA and gay rumours [herald sun]
Phelps in Record-Breaking Form [news24]

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  1. Who the hell is Joel Edgerton?

    Posted by: Lady Heather | Aug 21, 2006 9:24:45 AM

  2. Nice non-denial denial, Ian.

    I've never heard of superstar Joel Edgerton either, but here he is:

    Posted by: me | Aug 21, 2006 9:29:20 AM

  3. I read this story on The Herald Online (Australia) yesterday. As is often the case the story included the obligatory question about the "gay ACCUSATIONS". I hopped right over to the "Contact Us" link and fired off an e-mail to every editor e-mail address available.

    I asked them to please stop referring to rumors and speculation about a person's sexual orientation as "accusations". I reminded them that one ACCUSES a person of doing things that are immoral, unethical or illegal. One does NOT ACCUSE someone of being Black, Jewish, Catholic, left-handed or gay. The use of "accusation" when referring to rumors or speculations about homo/bisexual orientation simply reinforces the idea that there is something inappropriate, ugly, shameful or disgusting about it and therefore encourages homophobia and bigotry against GLBT people.

    To my surprise, I got a very nice and sincere return e-mail from the chief editor of The Herald Online telling me that my point was valid and well taken and that she was going to instruct all of the other editors to make sure that such inflammatory misstatements are avoided in future reports.

    Never underestimate the power of a single voice; or a thousand single voices. Always challenge ignorance, injustice and bigotry. Sometimes awareness is all it takes to change a person’s, or many peoples’, hearts and minds. You never know when YOUR single voice will be the one that makes a difference.

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 21, 2006 9:55:07 AM

  4. Is that an olympic rings tattoo on Michael Phelps' right, um, nether region? It's peeking out above his shockingly low waistband in one of the pics after the jump...

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 21, 2006 9:58:12 AM

  5. Oh and it looks like Ian's jogging in some unusually cold weather.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 21, 2006 9:59:09 AM

  6. Zeke...wow, Cool

    Onto ian. Ok, I think the chlorine fumes must have cooke dhis brain. He moved to LA to get privacy? LOL The 1 city in the world with the most paparazi on every street corner. Not only LA, but didn't he move somewhere near the WeHo area...LOL a hop skip and a jump would land him right on top of a bunch of paparazi.

    LOL Tho boy must have fried his brain on chlorine fumes

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 21, 2006 10:37:13 AM

  7. Nice nipple rings poking through Ian's t-shirt ;)

    Posted by: Wayne | Aug 21, 2006 10:43:48 AM

  8. Nice work, Zeke!

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 21, 2006 10:54:54 AM

  9. Let's say he is straight (which we have no reason or PROOF that he isn't) he should be given credit for not taking the approach that others have taken in denying that they are not gay. Unfortunately in the sports world saying someone is gay is very offensive. This is something that we in the gay community need to correct, yet with many, many in the gay community sport is view in the same negative light.

    Because Ian hasn't answered the question with a firm NO people will always come to their own conclusions. But where is the proof that he is gay? There is none. So for an sports star to have no problems with people thinking he is gay is refreshing. Cut the guy some slack and go after the ones who find our lifestyle offensive. Why isn't anyone saying anything about Todd Jones of the Detriot Tigers who is extremely anti-gay. That is where our focus should be.

    Posted by: Dawson | Aug 21, 2006 11:35:18 AM

  10. Yes Zeke, well done sir. Once again your words are right on target and very well recieved.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Aug 21, 2006 11:38:05 AM

  11. IWBLZ

    Posted by: JT | Aug 21, 2006 11:47:35 AM

  12. Good work, Zeke.

    I think the only way to quash the Phelps/Thorpe gay rumors (so many about both) is to have them both makeout on national television. We cna have a panel of gay judges vote on the sicerity of the kissing.

    Posted by: Marco | Aug 21, 2006 12:41:13 PM

  13. Thanks for all the kind words guys. I didn't intend for my comment to draw praise to myself. My intent was to draw attention to the editor; to credit her for her thoughtful response and action; and to point out how a simple, respectful and polite comment can make a difference.

    I am always amazed by the mainstream media's use of words like "accusation" and "insult" and "admits to" and “self-professed” when discussing issues related to sexual orientation. I am even more amazed by how few gay people seem to take offensive to such characterizations and I'm even MORE amazed by how many gay people use such inflammatory terminology themselves, even on Towleroad.

    Words are powerful tools. They can be used as a devastating weapon and their misuse, even unintentionally, can cause a lot of harm. It’s important that we be aware of, and be discerning of, the words used FOR and AGAINST us. We must refuse to ignore insults and must be willing to challenge ignorance.

    JT...IWBLZ? What is that?

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 21, 2006 12:50:59 PM

  14. Zeke: Do I have to spell it out for you? I Wanna Be Like Zeke! Sheesh!

    Posted by: JT | Aug 21, 2006 4:43:21 PM

  15. You're too funny JT. I wanna be like YOU!
    WWJTD? :)

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 21, 2006 5:48:24 PM

  16. Actually, a few years ago Phelps posed for Vanity Fair, showing off those Olympic rings as well some pubes poking out over his speedo.

    As for Ian, I remember a few years ago when the gay rumors surfaced and he said he was "flattered" that gays would want to claim him as one of their own. Just another reason to love him.

    That pic though..gay or straight, he still looks damn fine to me.

    Posted by: rjnick | Aug 22, 2006 11:07:27 PM

  17. Of Course asking someone if they are gay can be construed as an accusation. For most short fat ugly guys and ugly girls these days... Calling Someone gay is the New way of saying.."I'm jealous" Anyone who is successful or good looking is guarenteed to be called gay these days..

    Posted by: Talldarkman | Aug 26, 2006 1:51:28 PM

  18. From what I know about Ian Thorpe, magazines and newspapers, this person is a great guy, and very social. If he is gay he will find his way in life and if not he also will find a place. Lets pray that he will make somebody happy.

    Posted by: A. van der Laken de Kleine | Aug 27, 2006 12:04:41 AM

  19. Who the hell is going to *pray* that he makes somebody happy?

    Posted by: Dwayne | Aug 27, 2006 6:14:23 PM

  20. i know that ian thorpe is 100% gay
    i have spoken one of his fuck buddy's
    at internet cafe he told me that ian is bit of gay slut useing men for sex then telling them to piss off after they had sex he needs to come out that he is gay no one cares are fuck if is gay or not as long he is true to himself that he is gay ian i'm on your side please come out that your gay peolpe like you more

    Posted by: jamie man | Nov 20, 2006 11:06:29 PM

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