31 Oct 2012

Ian Thorpe releases autobiography detailing depression issues

9:04 am on 31 October 2012

The former Australian swimming great, Ian Thorpe, has described himself as an introverted nerd who's enjoying getting in the pool even after missing the London Olympics.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist, who turned 30 earlier this month, also opened up about his battle with depression and intrigue over his sexuality.

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.

As a 14-year-old, Thorpe became the youngest male ever to represent Australia at the world championships in Perth in 1998, where he won the 400m freestyle title.

Despite his phenomenal early success that included three Olympic gold medals in his home town of Sydney in 2000, Thorpe says he was fighting depression.

He says after confronting his illness, which included turning to alcohol to numb the pain - it was cathartic to write a chapter on his depression battle in his book.

He says he hoped his experience will help others in their fight.