#TBT Sports Blog: Australian Olympic Swimmer Ian “The Thorpedo” Thorpe

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe

Today’s #TBT sports blog remembers Australian sports icon Ian Thorpe.

This Olympic swimmer’s powerful speed in the pool gave rise to his brilliant nickname.

Known simply as The Thorpedo, Ian Thorpe ranks as one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

Like the self-propelled warhead for which he was named, this 6’5” and 230 lb. Australian used his massive size 17 feet and powerful six beat kick to regularly propel himself toward his final target – the victor’s podium at swimming events.


Amazingly, Thorpe overcame an allergic reaction to chlorine, a chemical common to pools. He excelled in a sport where he would continually be found in chlorinated water that would make him sick. At the age of eight, Ian Thorpe won very his first competitive race by holding his head completely above water to fight off the worst of his allergy.

Ian Thorpe Becomes Youngest World Champion Swimmer

Thorpe’s length and incredible work ethic helped him explode onto the international swim scene in 1998. That year, at age 15, The Thorpedo became the youngest men’s world champion.

The Thorpedo continued his assault in the pool. He eventually compiled one of the most impressive swimming resumes in the history of the sport. Thorpe excelled in middle-distance freestyle events and demonstrated an awesome ability to make up trailing distances as anchor on relay teams.

Voted four times as Swimming World’s Swimmer of the Year, Thorpe enjoyed the most success of any other Olympian during the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. The Thorpedo cruised his way to three gold medals and two silver medals at the games in Sydney, Australia.

The Thorpedo Captured 11 World Swimming Titles

Before retiring in 2006, this Aussie Thopedo captured an additional 11 World Swimming Championships.

USA Men’s Swim Coach Bob Bowman called Thorpe, “the greatest middle-distance swimmer of all time and the greatest relay swimmer I have ever seen.” This was an especially significant compliment since it arose from the same man who coached Michael Phelps.

This self-propelled Australian in the pool will always be remembered as an explosive finisher. Like any military weapon trained on its target, Thorpe regularly found his at the victor’s podium.

He’s one of the world’s most highly decorated swimming champions.

Ian Thorpe will be forever remembered as The Thorpedo, the amazingly fast underwater weapon that always found his target.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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