Swimming Legend Ian Thorpe a Long Shot for London 2012
Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe, nicknamed the Thorpedo, is back for one more kick at the can. The 29-year old athlete announced in 2011 that he was coming out of retirement to attempt a comeback in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Thorpe, who has won multiple medals in both the Olympic and Commonweath Games, retired in 2006 as a result of injury and waning motivation.
Before there was Michael Phelps, there was Ian Thorpe. Starting at age 16, he began competing at an elite level beginning with the Australian National Swimming Championships. Before long, Thorpe was competing in the international stage at the World Aquatics Championships and the Commonwealth Games where in 1998, he won four gold medals.
His accomplishments are impressive. Ian Thorpe has broken 22 world swimming records, collected 9 Olympics medals at two games and won 11 World Championships titles. Thorpe has also collected numerous Commonwealth Games and Pan-Pacific Games medals. In his native country of Australia, Thorpe is a bona fide superstar.
In 2011, Thorpe made his formal announcement that he was returning to competitive swimming, in hopes of attending the 2012 games in London. His decision to come out of retirement came after seeing the Olympic swimming facilities in London. Said Thorpe, "I was taken to see the swimming venue for the London Olympics and it's an extraordinary venue and I could taste it, which is something I haven't felt for a very, very long time"
Thorpe's chances of making the Australian swimming team seem shaky according to the man himself. With the Australian Olympic swimming trials a week away, Ian Thorpe seems a long shot to make the team. "I wish I had another six months to do this," Thorpe said. "I have to be swimming well. The most realistic outcome of this is that I will most likely fail." He is attempting to qualify for the 4X100m and 4X200m relay teams. He needs to finish in the top six at the Australian Olympic qualifying trials in Adelaide on March 15th.
He competed at a swim meet in Zurich recently, and his performances did not bode well for his London Olympic dream. His time in the 400m was a full 20 seconds slower than his personal best. He lacked the explosive starts which were his hallmark back in his prime.
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