Thorpey Smashes New World Record


© Jason McCormack

© Jason McCormack

Thorpey has done something many of us wouldn’t dare: to ignore the approval of others.

Now that one of our greatest sporting legends has revealed an intimate snippet about himself – “I’m not straight” – he’s broken a new world record, outside the pool.

Thorpey is a truth teller and I want to be just like him.

As we all lie and some careers actually need lying, I once suggested on this blog that if people really knew what we thought of them, and vice versa, it would lead to a mass unfriending. Catch the post here.

Even in his recent interview with Parky, Thorpey said he didn’t think his fans would accept a gay champion. No doubt, at the time, he thought this would equal loss of fan approval and even lead to unfriending.

For the record, I simply don’t care about his sexuality, or anyone else’s, for that matter.

I’ve always liked Thorpey and more so after meeting him around 18 months ago. He and Yeojin Bae were Australia’s goodwill ambassadors for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea.

At the media launch officially announcing Australia’s participation, I sidestepped my team and the media throng, to get face time with the five-time Olympic swimming champion and holder of two world swimming records.

Thorpey (pictured at the launch) was gracious, softly spoken and a little pensive. As soon as we chatted about his then home in Switzerland, he lit up like a Christmas tree.

Fast forward to 2014.

Bravo to Thorpey for no longer needing the approval of others and getting on with life. He’s even inspired me to reveal a truth to a worldwide audience.

In a recent meeting, a business aquaintance scoffed at my love of football (soccer) and excitement over the World Cup. He called it “gay ball” with a few other choice remarks thrown in.

Sure, I protested at his discriminatory and “offensive” comments. But I now want to tell him what I really think: “You’re an oxygen thief!” What’s more, I look forward to our mutual unfriending.

  • How important is getting the approval of others to succeed in life?
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