Ryan Channing, ex-boyfriend of Olympian Ian Thorpe, dies aged 32: ‘He will be forever loved’

Danai Nesta Kupemba May 11, 2022
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Ryan Channing dated Ian Thorpe for four years. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

Lawyer, model and former partner of retired swimming legend Ian Thorpe, Ryan Channing, has died at the age of 32.

The entrepreneur was taken to hospital on Sunday (8 May) while filming a Netflix documentary on his skincare brand Blaq in Indonesia. The cause of death is still unknown.

Although the 32-year-old had COVID-19 a few weeks prior his family have said his death is unrelated.

Ryan Channing’s brother Jake confirmed his death in an Instagram post today (11 May). He wrote: “As we seek answers and try come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my beautiful big brother, we ask for your prayers, support, and privacy, he will be forever loved, never forgotten and forever young.”


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A post shared by JakeChanning (@jakechanning)

Channing’s brother also expressed grief at the fact that news of his death was announced in the media before the family could post a statement. He wrote: “Seeings as the news headlines beat my whole family to posting about this unfortunate time in our lives, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that my brother Ryan has recently passed away.”

Ryan Channing dated Ian Thorpe between 2015 and 2019. He was a popular figure in the LGBT+ community in Australia and was a staunch advocate for marriage equality and gay rights. Thorpe and Channing campaigned for change together.

Before they split in 2019, Channing and Thorpe indicated that they were thinking of having a child together, but laws in Australia make it difficult for same sex couples to have children. The couple briefly looked for a surrogate in the USA.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Ian Thorpe said: “Something I would love to see progress further in Australia so same-sex couples don’t have to travel abroad to achieve their family goals.”

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs said they were “providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian citizen who died in Bali”.

More: Australia, Ian Thorpe

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