Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe has denied rumors that he is gay, and must continue to focus on the sport he loves and future competitions to counter the rumors and distractions that he faces.
Thorpe recently gave an interview to ABC (via Herald Sun):
Speaking on the eve of the release of his autobiography, Thorpe admitted he gets frustrated that people don't believe him when he tells them he isn't gay.
"The thing I find hurtful is people are questioning my integrity... that this is something that I would be embarrassed about, or I would hide," Thorpe told ABC TV's 7.30 on Tuesday night.
"I think it's because I don't fit into the typical stereotype of what Australian athletes have been in the past.
Thorpe is a really strong individual, and a man who can be a great role model for kids and adults that have to deal with these kinds of distractions.
Throughout his life, Thorpe has done a good job of putting his problems to the side and focusing on becoming one of his country's finest swimmers.
There's no question that he will continue to do this as he prepares for the next chapter of his professional career.
Thorpe has the work ethic needed to further his swimming ability and qualify for the next Summer Olympics, which will take place in Brazil in 2016.
However, if he doesn't put the distractions he has to deal with to the side, it will be much harder for him to qualify for any international competition in the next four years.
The best way for Thorpe to continue his incredible career and win more gold medals is to forget about what people are saying about him and dedicate all his attention on his competition.
If he does this, Thorpe will end his swimming career in a way he can be happy with.