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Ian Thorpe


Thorpe, Ian, born in 1982, Australian swimmer, one of swimming’s biggest stars in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Thorpe’s blazing speed in the pool led to his nickname, The Thorpedo.

Ian Thorpe

Born in Sydney, Australia, Thorpe began swimming at the age of eight. He first made the Australian national swim team six years later after winning the national championships for his age group. At the 1997 Pan Pacific Games he collected two silver medals. At age 15 Thorpe became the youngest male swimmer to capture a world title, winning a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle and the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay at the 1998 world championships.

The following year Thorpe broke four world records in four days at the Pan Pacific championships in Sydney, including new marks for the 200- and 400-meter freestyle. He was also part of the Australian 4 x 200-meter relay team that broke the world record for the event by more than three seconds.

At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, his hometown, the 17-year-old Thorpe became one of the sensations of the Games. He captured three gold medals, winning the 400-meter freestyle and contributing to Australian victories in the 4 x 100-meter and 4 x 200-meter freestyle relays.

Thorpe continued to dominate his sport in 2001, setting his 11th world record in March. Later that year he won six gold medals at the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan. He also broke four more world records, three in individual events.

Ian Thorpe

Thorpe set more records at the 2003 world championships, including a career mark for most swimming world titles with 11. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, Thorpe became the first male swimmer to win freestyle medals in the 100-meter (bronze), 200-meter (gold), and 400-meter (gold). He also captured a silver medal in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay. Thorpe’s five gold medals over two Olympics set a new standard for an Australian athlete, breaking the mark of four golds set by swimmer Dawn Fraser and two others.

Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe

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