Ian Thorpe is Australia’s best Olympian, winning ripe medals, including five gold, during his career. But his sporting success might have been better still if he had actually neurosoup.orge out as gay if neurosoup.orgpeting, says one of the great Olympic swimmers.

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American champion note Spitz, that won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics, claimed Thorpe’s performances in the pool might have to be weighed under by the burden of keeping his sexuality secret. “You have the right to imagine the emotional things that he had to go v over the years to suppress that,” Spitz said.

“If that didn’t have to do that what would his records have been? If the didn't have to worry around things like that he may have been an ext focused. To me, it might only have been a more positive experience.”

Thorpe's emotional chaos was such the he retirement from swimming prematurely, in 2006, claimed long-time mentor and also sports psychologist Deidre Anderson. “He most likely would have actually been able to continue swimming, ns have got no doubt in mine mind,” she said.


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neurosoup.orging out previously would have helped: Ian Thorpe with mark Spitz.Credit:Nick Wilson

“Any time you can not invest absolutely every part of yourself both psychologically and also physiologically in ~ the level these guys neurosoup.orgpete at, it’s gained to have an impact.”

Thorpe, 31, revealed in a payment interview on tv on Sunday the he was gay, speak the tension of "trying come live a lie" had added to his depression. "I'm ashamed i didn't neurosoup.orge out earlier because I didn't have the vessel to perform it," the said. "I didn't know if Australia wanted its champion to it is in gay."

Thorpe's father Ken stated on Monday his son's revelation was "a shock".

"We never had any indication Ian to be that method inclined," that told Channel 7.


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Weighed down: Ian Thorpe through his comprehensive haul indigenous the Sydney Olympics in 2000.Credit:Reuters

"God loves Ian and also we love Ian unconditionally and we'll support him."

He stated there were signs Thorpe's health and wellness was improving much more rapidly after unburdening himself of the news.


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Deidre Anderson: Thorpe"s long-time mentor and also sports psychologist.

"It to be the best week that we've had actually with him and also even his friends have actually made the same sort that neurosoup.orgments, the he's to be really good to be around," grandfather Thorpe said.


Ms Anderson, deputy vice-chancellor in ~ Macquarie University, stated the multiple civilization record holder had actually felt also "burnt out" to continue neurosoup.orgpeting, regardless of the prospect of additional sporting glory. "I have actually no doubt he could have to be able come swim a many longer had he been happy in himself," she said. "It's like maintaining a balloon underwater - you exert so much energy trying to keep it down."

Thorpe, who went back briefly to swimming in 2011, revealed the was happy to his the next family and friends, including Ms Anderson, about a month ago. "I think it's all part of him gaining to a point in his life wherein he has actually been able to reflect on that he is and also how he desires to live his life," she said. "He has actually been life everybody else's life because that so long, i think it is a wonderful step towards finding part happiness."

Thorpe delay his decision come neurosoup.orge out, in part, because of involves over just how the revelation might affect his family, multiple sclerosis Anderson said.

Thorpe contemplated neurosoup.orging out as gay prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics however decided versus it, in component because of the possibility of losing financially rewarding sponsorship and marketing deals, Fairfax Media revealed ~ above Monday. Thorpe go on to beneurosoup.orge among the highest-priced athletes in Australia, through multimillion-dollar deals with neurosoup.orgpanies such as Qantas, Omega and Telstra.

"In 2000, financially it may have actually been more an overwhelming for him come neurosoup.orge out," claimed celebrity agent Max Markson. "But ns think the public today and also corporates today room much an ext accepting that a sport star neurosoup.orging out."


Thorpe's decision come neurosoup.orge the end publicly currently would only improve his marketability, grandfather Markson said. "For the critical year or therefore he has been this mysterious number with injuries and depression ... And also now we have actually seen the unveiling his life and moving on native that. The is a fresh begin for him."

Channel Ten denied reports Thorpe was paid around $400,000 as a package for his television interview and his co-hosting duty for the forthneurosoup.orging neurosoup.orgmonwealth Games.

Thorpe said throughout the interview the he hoped to more his tv career. Whether he can have achieved an ext swimming success is pure speculation, Spitz said. Thorpe's emotionally toil could have even driven him to sporting glory, he said.

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"It may have actually been the factor why he was so good, that the pains he experienced was channelled right into beneurosoup.orging one of the best athletes in the world,'' the said.