Former Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has revealed in an interview with The Herald Sun that despite breaking up with his partner Ryan Channing in 2019, he’d still “love to be a father at some stage.’

“I’d love the kids in the pool, but I’d love playing in the pool and if they happen to like something else, I am happy with that as well.”

The focus of the interview was on the recently released film Streamline, which credits Thorpe as an executive producer. The film follows a 15-year-old swimming prodigy who is inspired by Thorpe’s life and was set to debut at Melbourne International film festival, but was of course delayed by COVID-19.

“What do you do as a parent? Do you push the card? It is a great question for us all to answer, whether it is sport or anything else,” Thorpe said of his attraction to the film.

“That’s why I loved this film. It’s a question of this coming-of-age drama and what to do with your kids.”

Coming Out

The five-time Olympic gold medallist famously came out in July 2014 in an interview with British talk show host Michael Parkinson, after years of denying his homosexuality.

Thorpe met Channing in 2016. Though his relationship with the entrepreneur and former model lasted only three years, Channing recently said “Ian and I have been separated for over a year now but remain close friends and [in] the same circle of friends. We still share our puppy Kaia. Everything is going great!”

Thorpe is now rumoured to be dating Nick Hudson, an associate director for a large accounting firm.

Thorpe retired from swimming in 2006, and since then has undergone numerous operations following a shoulder injury. He was also admitted to a rehabilitation facility for depression after being found by police early one morning in February 2014 near his parents’ Sydney house. Since then, Thorpe has been open about his battles with mental health.

Relationship With His Father

The former Olympian also spoke candidly with The Herald Sun about his relationship with his father. Reflecting back on his childhood, he told the publication that while Ken Thorpe was at his own father’s death bed, “He compared me to Don Bradman. I think that is an honour to have that comparison. And it was the one way that my grandfather could understand what I was doing in the pool.”

When Thorpe’s grandfather died in 1999, he wasn’t able to be by his side, “I had to make the decision whether I swam or didn’t swim. It was hard. I was torn. I thought what my grandfather would want and he would have wanted me to compete,” Thorpe told The Herald Sun.

“I went on to win a world record that night.”

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