In an interview due to air in Australia this weekend Michael Parkinson asks swimming legend and rumoured homosexual Ian Thorpe whether he is gay or not.
The trailer for the interview, which is set to air on Australia’s Channel Ten network on Sunday, sees Michael Parkinson say to Olympic hero Thorpe, “You’ve always said that you’re not gay… is all of that true?” The camera then focuses on a mildly awkward-looking Thorpe’s face.
However, despite what the dramatic editing may suggest, it is unlikely that Thorpe will come out considering that over the past several years he has consistently denied that he is gay. Writing in his autobiography, This Is Me, he said: “I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight.
“The thing that I find hurtful about it is that people are questioning my integrity and what I say. That’s the only part I find hurtful, that this is something I would be embarrassed about and that I would hide.”
The tabloidesque nature of the promo for the interview has drawn criticism online from those angered that the focus is on Thorpe’s sexuality instead of his sporting achievements.
Over the course of his career, Thorpe has broken 22 world records, won five Olympic golds, three silvers and one bronze medal as well as a slew of World Championship and Commonwealth medals and titles. Earlier this year he was checked-in to a psychiatric facility where he underwent treatment for depression, after family members found him ‘acting oddly‘.
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