It appears Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe may have had a very romantic Valentine’s Day weekend indeed, after reports have emerged he’s begun a new relationship with Australian underwear model Ryan Channing.

Originally from the beaches of Perth in Western Australia, 26-year-old Channing recently appeared in a campaign for swimwear label 2ero, and is studying law at Curtin University.

Thorpe and Channing have been seen together around Sydney after they were introduced through mutual friends,  according to The Courier Mail.

“While it is early days in relationship terms, they are smitten with one another,” a source told the newspaper.

“Over the last few weeks Ian and Ryan have been inseparable. T have been going out in public together and meeting one another’s friends, they seem really happy.”

If the reports are true, we couldn’t be happier for the 33-year-old, who admitted just last year that dating had been an “absolute mess” since he had publicly come out.

“Dating’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be,” he said at the time.

“It’s an absolute mess out there! I’m like, ‘Where are all the normal people?’ I’ve never really dated, so I’ve come in being almost completely blindsided by this.

“I think if someone puts an effort into a date, then full points – it’s not like I’m a hard marker. But there are some nut cases. It’s just a bit weird.”

While we wait for the Thorpedo to confirm news of the relationship, here are some shots of his beau Ryan. Enjoy!

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