Roland Schoeman

South African swimming champion Roland Schoeman has congratulated Australian Olympic legend Ian Thorpe for coming out the closet.

After Thorpe announced that he is gay in an interview broadcast on Australian television on Sunday, the news started trending on Twitter and the 31-year-old swimmer was flooded with messages of support on social media.

Among those who spoke out was Schoeman, who’s won a gold, silver and bronze medal at the Olympics and remains a record holder in the short-course 50 meters freestyle.

He tweeted: “Hats off to @IanThorpe for having the courage of conviction. You’re still a true champion.”

Other sporting figures who welcomed the news of Thorpe’s coming out included out American footballer Jason Collins, who tweeted: “Cheers @IanThorpe. Your story will help & inspire many. Wishing you happiness & know that millions of us support and love you. #pride #LGBT”

Gay Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, commented: “Whatever your opinion, remember that it’s OUR reaction to Ian’s news that determines how easy it is for the next gay superstar to come out.”

Out figure skater Johnny Weir stated, “Very pleased for and proud of @IanThorpe! Incredible champion and beautiful man! #Thorpedo,” while British football veteran Gary Lineker tweeted, “Well done @IanThorpe on your ‘coming out’. Look, mate, it was a brave and right decision. Good luck to you.”

Music star Ricky Martin also tweeted his support for the swimmer, saying: “Congrats @IanThorpe! Brave man! Happy for you! Millions appreciate what you’ve done! Proud of you! #SelfLove”

South Africa’s Evita Bezuidenhout added her two cents, tweeting, “They say Oz Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has ‘come out’. Goodness, was he locked up?” while openly gay author and radio broadcaster Eusebius McKaiser commented, “And Ian Thorpe…was one of us. Coming out party at mine later!”

Read more about Thorpe’s coming out here.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend