Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, 23, told an Australian
newspaper that rumors persist about his sexuality even
though he is straight. Thorpe told Friday's edition of
the Melbourne Herald Sun that he is heckled by
strangers who shout homophobic epithets and make other jabs.
"It's a downer, but you have to look at it from
a logical point of view," he told the newspaper. "If
someone screams a profanity at you and you don't know
them, you just have to disregard it as you walk down
the street, and that's what I have learned to do. They do
[target my sexuality] to an extent," he said of the
public. "But I think we're past that now. I think most
people are over that most of the time."
Thorpe, who is under intense media scrutiny in
Australia, says he wants to return to obscurity once
his career is over. "I am not an attention seeker. I
by no means want to be more famous," he told the
newspaper. "I live every day in the public eye, and I don't
get the luxury of switching it on and off."
Thorpe has revealed that he may retire from
competitive swimming after the 2008 Beijing Olympic