"What happened was, I felt that the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity and a little bit of ego comes into this. I didn't want people to think that I had lied about everything...
"I'm [now] comfortable saying I'm a gay man. And I don't want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.
"I was concerned about the reaction from my family, my friends. I'm pleased to say that in telling them, and especially my parents, they told me that they love me and they support me. And for young people out there, know that that's usually what the answer is. A part of me didn't know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay. I am telling not only Australia, I'm telling the world that I am and I hope this makes it easier for others now.
"I'm a little bit ashamed that I didn't come out earlier, that I didn't have the strength to do it, I didn't have the courage to do it, to break that lie. But everyone goes on their own path to do this."
-- Five-time gold medal Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, Australia's most decorated Olympian, in an interview with the Guardian discussing his decision to finally come out as gay last weekend after years of public denials.