Australia’s greatest Olympian Ian Thorpe has announced his retirement from competitive swimming.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist, and multiple world record holder, has told a press conference in Sydney he is quitting the pool at the age of 24.
He told today of the dizzying heights and setbacks that marked his career as he announced that he is stopping his professional swimming career.
He said swimming was no longer at the top of his priority list, saying there were things that were important in his life.
Thorpe said he made the decision on Sunday shortly after deciding he would not compete at next year’s world championships in Melbourne.
2.53 2.57 (according to David) on Sunday afternoon I decided I would not be swimming the world championships,’’ Thorpe said.
“I also made a very difficult decision that day that I am actually going to discontine my professional swimming career.
“I’d been working towards this decision for quite some time. I’m a 24-year-old, and I’m only just 24 as well.
“I’m young enough to still see the new challenges and be able to accept them within my life.
“I’m also old enough now that I realise all of these accomplishments that have got me to this place in my life.
“I also know there is a lot of people out there that want me to keep swimming.
“I only hoped that I wanted to swim half as much as other people want me to.’’
Thorpe is regarded as one of the greatest swimmers of all time after winning 11 world titles, five Olympic gold medals and setting 13 individual long-course world records. (Source:smh.com.au and AAP)