As a young child, Ian Thorpe suffered from an allergy to chlorine but fate was on his side and he out grew the condition . Even with this inconvenience Thorpe showed promise winning various prizes at school level competitions.
In 2002, Thorpe’s impact in the swimming community was acknowledged when he became the youngest male swimmer to be named by Swimming World Magazine as the World Swimmer of the Year and has since been given this accolade 4 times in total.
At the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, the Australians dominated in the pool but it was the youngest member of the team who created the biggest waves. Ian Thorpe was only 15 year old when he realised his destiny and brought home a total of four medals for Australia in 200m and 400m freestyle and two gold-medal relay teams.
In total Thorpe, also known as the ‘thorpedo’, has won 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals and his winning doesn’t stop there. With a list of medals as long as his arm span, it’s safe to say that Ian Thorpe is one of the Commonwealths Legends!
Ian has also set up a charity called ‘Ian Thorpe’s Foundation for Youth’. The organisation raises money to fund projects that improve the health and education of indigenous children: http://www.ianthorpesfountainforyouth.com.au
If you think you can follow in the footsteps of Ian Thorpe, you should contact your Commonwealth Games Association or the National Association for swimming in your country.