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Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

Ian Thorpe at the Crown's IMG Tennis Player's Party at Crown Towers on January 13, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. / Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images Ian Thorpe at the Crown's IMG Tennis Player's Party at Crown Towers on January 13, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. / Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images

In a sit-down with well-known British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson set to air Sunday, Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, 31, revealed he is gay after years of dismissing speculation.

Australia's most decorated swimmer, Thorpe broke 22 world records and won five gold medals at the Olympic Games before retiring for the first time at the age of 24, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Questions about his sexuality started when he was just 15 and competing at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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Thorpe denied that he was gay in his 2012 autobiography, "This is Me," writing: ''For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I'm attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day … I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was."

In the TV interview, Thorpe discusses his years of battling depression. Earlier this year, he checked into a rehab facility.

 
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