The father of swimming champion Ian Thorpe was caught off
guard by his son's coming out, saying the revelation was a
"It was a shock because we never had any inclination that Ian
was that way inclined," Ken Thorpe told the Seven Network on
Thorpe told his family a couple of weeks before he confirmed
his sexuality on prime time television during an interview
with veteran British journalist Sir Michael Parkinson on
Mr Thorpe said he had the best week with his Olympic
gold-medallist son, who has battled depression, in a long
"God loves Ian and we love Ian unconditionally and we will
support him," he said.
Mr Thorpe said the view was shared with family friends.
"One of my mates at golf said on Thursday, and he's known Ian
from a young age, Ian is a great bloke and this won't change
Gay rights advocates, politicians and everyday Australians
have applauded Thorpe's courage.