Sport, Motivational, Media
Affectionately known to many as ‘Thorpedo’, Ian Thorpe is Australia’s most decorated Olympian and one of Australia’s favourite sons.
Ian started swimming when he was eight years old and first grabbed world attention when he won the 1998 world 400m freestyle title in Perth, at 15 becoming the youngest ever swimming world champion. From that point onward Ian dominated middle distance swimming and in the process has become one of the most prolific athletes the sport has even seen.
“Thorpey” broke 22 world records and won five gold, three silver and one bronze Olympic medals. Ian has also collected 11 World Championship titles, 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine Pan Pacific titles.
Ian’s sporting achievements have also given him international celebrity status. Ian has hosted and appeared on an abundance of television shows and has been the face of international events and the recipient of dozens of awards worldwide. The IAAF awarded him the 2001 American International Athlete Trophy as “The World’s Most Outstanding Athlete”, in 2002 he was voted by the Foreign Press as the best representative of Australian culture, attitude and ideals, and he was awarded the “2002 Australian Face Abroad Award”. Ian received the 2003 Outstanding Male Athlete for the 24th Commonwealth Sports Awards as well as the Telstra Australian Swimmer of the Year from 1999 to 2003 (inclusive).
From a young age, Ian was renowned for being highly articulate, generous and empathetic. In 2000 Ian established his own charity, Ian Thorpe’s Fountain For Youth, which provides health and education programs and support for Aboriginal families. As a result of this work the Australian Human Rights Commission awarded Ian the 2012 Australian Human Rights Medal. Ian is also an Ambassador for Lifeline and AIME.
Outside the pool, Ian has pursued a number of ventures showcasing his passion for media, art, fashion, food and travel. Ian’s recent projects include the publication of his autobiography, This Is Me, as well as a feature documentary entitled The Swimmer. Ian also received global acclaim for his role on the BBC’s London 2012 Olympic swimming commentary team.
Ian’s professional approach to swimming, ability to deliver under pressure, humble attitude and integrity has earned him praise from his peers, the public and world leaders. At such a young age, it is difficult to fathom how Ian has achieved so much and yet has so much ahead of him.
“Ian Thorpe is arguably the greatest swimmer ever... His abilities and skills have inspired a generation of young swimmers.”
Lord Sebastian Coe, 2011
“People have been impressed that Ian was so positive, so happy, personable, well spoken and the amount of time he gave. People raved about Ian and walked away after the evening with a great feeling.”
Tim Pragram – National Sales Manager of Samsung Telecommunications