It was all over the swimming websites yesterday that Ian Thorpe is coming out today on Australian TV. My initial reaction is, finally. He's been so obviously gay for so long that the more he denied it, the sillier he appeared. Waiting this long and then finally coming out to confirm something everybody knew anyway doesn't really make him look any less foolish.
At the same time, it's hard not to feel some sympathy. He grew up in Australia, which is both a swim-crazy and macho culture, and he's been a public figure there pretty much from the age of 14. He's never really known anything else, and it must have been difficult for him to keep that "shameful" secret all those years.
Every time I'd read about his alcohol/prescription drug/depression problems, I'd think, if he'd only come out of that self-imposed closet, a lot of pressure would be lifted off his shoulders, and he might have a chance of healing. I hope he does.