Monday, July 14, 2014

Thorpe gay? Who would have thought

I don't think anyone is too surprised that champion Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe came out as being gay during an interview with Sir Michael Parkinson. While I wish Thorpe well, a couple of things come to mind. The superficial to begin, how much was Parky paid to come out of retirement to conduct the interview and how much was Thorpe paid to do the interview? I would not be surprised if jointly, it was a six figure sum.

But what really troubles me is why now? At the end of his career, as his value for endorsements and products is slipping,  he indicated he would like to be the area of sports commentating. He has some experience already and will be commentating at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Sorry if I seem sceptical, but it smacks to me of brilliant management by whoever manages him.

While his career never reached the heights of Thorpe's, and he also had drug and alcohol issues, contrast Thorpe to the diver Matthew Mitcham, who, as I recall it, thanked his boyfriend after he won medals at the Tokyo Olympics. There was a media fuss for a day or so, and then most people forgot about it, and perhaps Mitcham too.

Mitcham really has my respect.

If only the Thorpedo had just said, 'Sorry? What was that question? I don't think it is any of your business.'

14 comments:

  1. Andrew, I believe eveRy man should decide about himself. It was his decision and for him the best at his stage of life.

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    1. Gosia, it was at a time that suited his purpose. I must say though, I did not know his family was very religious.

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  2. I too am a bit cynical Andrew - I mean, after his 2003 appearance in front of the Eiffel Tower in a beige Chanel jacket with black trim, black leather pants and knee high boots who didn't know? Then I read a bit about his family and the religious nut Dad and I have a little more sympathy now. I guess. Tom Daley's coming out was handled well in the British press - is he known in Australia?

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    1. Scott, you know more than I do. Tom Daley is know among some gay men at least here. The matter quickly passed over most people's heads. If I asked R, I doubt he would know who TD is. Yes, I agree with you about how the British press handled the matter.

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  3. WHY? Seriously I'm sure neither of them needed the money why was that even necessary.. I'm totally with you here Andrew, there was obviously another agenda!

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    1. Grace, I am sure Parky did not need the money. Maybe Thorpe did

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  4. In my memory Mitcham came out ahead of competition at the Beijing Olympics and his coming out was the first that most people knew of him. When he went on to win the Gold Medal our admiration for him was even greater and his sexuality was not an issue.

    Thorpe was extremely young when he burst on the sporting scene and it is quite possible that coming to terms with his sexuality was a bigger challenge than his sporting competition. None of us can know what pressures he felt in his family and personal life. I never criticise someone for the time it has taken them to come out. It is a very personal decision and the issues are different for each individual. Your suspicions about the timing and method of his announcement may well be on the money nevertheless I'm glad its done now and we no longer have to hear the periodic speculation raised by journalists ever again.

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    1. Victor, you are probably correct about Mitcham. Who knows when Thrope knew he was gay but I am sure it wasn't just yesterday. All those years of lying must have taken their toll, when all he had to do was, none of your business.

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  5. I don't want to know a interviewee's religion, his salary, who he votes for and who he roots. These questions should not be the grist for a tv interview.

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    1. Hels, I think many people do want to know though, although whether they have a right to know is another point.

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  6. How I wish that a person's sexuality was completely irrrelevant - unless you fancied them.
    And yes, I have some reservations about the timing but on balance I just don't care. I wish him well, but I have no interest in what he does or with whom.

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    1. EC, yes in my experience it is better to know their sexuality, especially if you are going to act.

      I think everyone wishes him well and hopes he has a good life.

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  7. Meh, I don't care about the money, I just hope that he's happy. He's obviously suffered a lot of mental illness over the years and I truly hope that his life is a lot better now. Who am I to judge.

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    1. Fen, I can't help but think he brought a lot of his suffering on himself. Hopefully the next thing we hear is that he is in a happy relationship.

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