THE SOCIAL media world has welcomed former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe's coming out in an interview with an English television presenter aired on Sunday.
An on-air confession from arguably Australia's greatest swimmer came during an interview with Michael Parkinson, to be aired on Channel Ten in Australia on Sunday night.
Despite years of public scrutiny of the champion swimmer's sexuality, Thorpe had always denied he was homosexual.
A promotional clip of the interview released ahead it the Australian airing showed an emotional Thorpe confirming his sexuality.
He also spoke about his long battle with depression and the effects of world-wide fame early in his teenage years on himself and his family.
But his coming out was welcomed on social media on Sunday, with actor Magda Szubanski and cricketer Brett Lee welcoming his decision to come out.
The social media reaction was neatly surmised in a tweet from comedian Charlie Pickering.
He wrote: "So Ian Thorpe is our most successful gay swimmer. Or as I like to say our most successful swimmer."
How do you feel about Ian Thorpe’s admission that he is gay?
This poll ended on 13 July 2015.
I’m stunned. Who would have thought?
I would have been shocked if he said he was straight.
A person’s sexuality shouldn’t be an issue.
Who cares? He was a great swimmer and that’s all that matters.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.