Ian Thorpe, Australia's most successful Olympian, revealed in his first interview with gay media that the pressure to come out gay kept him in the closet.

“I don't think I could have come out at any other time in my life,” Thorpe told the Star Observer. “I didn't feel ready.”

Thorpe came out gay in 2014 after years of denying rumors about his sexuality.

The 33-year-old swimmer said that the constant scrutiny kept him from going public.

“In being under that kind of pressure, I had pressure to come out, I feel it made it more difficult to come out,” Thorpe said.

He added that he's received “tremendous” support from the LGBT community.

“Once you feel that weight come off, I also felt I could tackle the world and I was feeling young again and feeling like I can go out and do anything,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe will host the Bully Project, an upcoming Australian television documentary about the trauma bullied kids face.

Young people, Thorpe said, should come out when they “feel comfortable.”