the last lap
Australia's greatest Olympian, Ian Thorpe, pulls the plug on his spectacular swimming career at tender age of 24. The list of enviable achievements includes:
- 11 world titles
- 5 Olympic Gold medals
- 13 individual long-course world records
I respect your decision, Ian. You've given so much to your sport & country. 'Enslaved' by a gruelling sports machine since age 8, everyone deserves a 'life'. His must have been the life of the proverbial goldfish in a bowl, a sports super-celebrity, forever the object of mass adoration & media scrutiny. It must be hard psychologically for sports wonderkids growing up; combining the punishing athletic regimes of a young Soviet gymnast, with the public adulation of a child movie star, burdened with an entire nation's hopes and expectations. If anyone deserves a break, it's him.
It's always sad when sports legends retire (especially 'prematurely'), but it sounds like his heart is no longer in it. So we can only salute this exceptionally talented young man, wish him well, and thank him for his efforts. Thank you, Ian! We sports fans are humbled by your greatness, and honoured to have witnessed your record-breaking feats of glory, history made before our very eyes. Cheers, mate! Good luck for the future!