Ian Thorpe's retirement due to gay secret: Grant Hackett
Ian Thorpe's former swimming team mate Grant Hackett has revealed the most likely reason for the now out swimming champ's retirement was the emotional burden he carried concealing the fact he was gay.
"I believe this was the major factor that led Ian to wrap up his career in his mid-twenties," Hackett wrote in a blog post for an online bookmaker.
He applauded Thorpe for his interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, acknowledging the anguish he must have previously faced regarding his sexual orientation.
"It would've been unbearable to think of the emotional burden Ian has carried over the years," Hackett said.
"I think the expectation of the public and media every time he competed, coupled with the lack of insight into dealing with his depression, and not feeling comfortable enough to open up about his sexuality, created too much of a high-pressured environment.
"Ian never said he disliked swimming - it was always the outside factors that contributed to his early retirement."