Ian Thorpe's name will forever be etched in Australian history as one of our greatest sporting legends.
But away from the pool and following his retirement from competitive swimming, first in 2006 and again in 2012 after a brief comeback, the 38-year-old hasn't always had an easy relationship with love and romance.
When did Ian Thorpe come out?
The now openly gay star endured speculation about his sexuality for years, before officially coming out during a TV interview with UK talk show host Michael Parkinson in 2014.
After denying his homosexuality publicly for years, Ian, who is set to compete in Celebrity MasterChef was finally able to be at peace with his identity as a gay man.
"I'm comfortable saying I'm a gay man. And I don't want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay," he said, hinting at his own struggles.
"I am telling the world that I am gay … and I hope this makes it easier for others now, and even if you've held it in for years, it feels easier to get it out."
Who is Ian Thorpe’s boyfriend?
Ian's first major relationship after coming out was with Aussie model and entrepreneur Ryan Channing.
The pair dated from 2016 until 2019, before parting amicably.
"Yes, the rumours are true, we have parted ways. It has all been very amicable. We have stayed friends." Ryan revealed to The Daily Telegraph at the time.
The pair were regular fixtures on the glamorous event circuit and were regularly photographed together on the red carpet. They also happily shared many cute couple photos on Instagram.
Ian and Ryan made no secret of the fact that they were keen to start a family together, even seeking out a potential surrogate and other fertility options.
While there were rumours that their decision to pursue family planning options was behind the couple's split, Ryan confirmed that wasn't actually the case.
"There has been talk Ian wasn't ready for a family. I can't comment on his behalf, but that was never a discussion as to why we were separating. It was more around the busy lifestyles we lead now, and the fact it was hard to manage the relationship with the travel schedules we have," the 29-year-old told WHO in 2019.
Ryan explained he was always planning to have a child - and his former boyfriend was well aware of his plans.
"Ian has known from the very beginning this was my plan and he came into that plan because we were together … Having a child is something I've always wanted to do."
Ryan added that he still intends to pursue his goal.
"It's going ahead without Ian," he confirmed, adding he'd "love to have a little boy".
"I'm just about to choose my surrogate," he said. "I'm really excited to bring a child into the world next year."
And despite their split, Ian and Ryan have still remained good friends.
In fact, the former couple are so close that they were photographed having dinner together in Sydney in July 2020 with Ryan's new fiancé Leevon Baptiste.
In photos obtained by Daily Mail Australia, Ian was pictured joining the pair as they dined at China Doll restaurant in Woolloomooloo.
Is Ian Thorpe single?
Ian leads quite a private life for a public figure and has not posted any photos of a potential new partner on Instagram, nor has he confirmed any details of a new romance.
In December 2020, The Sydney Morning Herald's gossip column Emerald City reported Ian was embarking on a promising new relationship with Nick Hudson, who is an associate director of infrastructure and projects at one of the big four accounting firms.
However, this relationship has not been confirmed by either party since nor has any more reports of the romance emerged.
This story was originally published on our sister site, WHO Magazine.