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Ian Thorpe Expected to Return from Retirement; Confirms Return in Presser - Updated -- February 2, 2011

SYDNEY, Australia, February 1. IAN Thorpe, a four-time Swimming World Magazine World Swimmer of the Year, is expected to announce his return from a retirement dating back to Nov. 2006 according to Nicole Jeffery of the Australian.

First hinted at in May 2010, when Thorpe first dashed speculation of a comeback bid, Thorpe's expected return comes on the heels of Olympic silver medalist Geoff Huegill's remarkable return during which he first jumped back into the pool to lose nearly 100 pounds.

Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, is 28 years old and stated he made up his mind to return in September 2010. He began the path back with a three-day trial, then committed to three weeks before stretching his training to three months.


"I made the decision back in September to return to competitive swimming," Thorpe said in a presser today. "I was taken to the swimming venue for the London Olympics, and I could taste it. I hadn't felt this way about swimming for a very long time. I didn't get back into the pool for any other reason than to be able to compete at the elite level."

Thorpe additionally revealed that he will be focusing on relay duty for Australia with the 100 and 200 freestyles as his primary events. He also explained that Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent has been coaching Thorpe via text messages with his training plan, while Thorpe rotated through eight different pools to eliminate the chance that anyone would notice that he was back to full training.

"Australia is struggling a little bit for a really strong international competitor in the pool. Someone like Ian will bolster the team - if he is back it will be extraordinary," two-time Olympic gold medalist Kieren Perkins told the Australian.

Thorpe will need to file his paperwork with FINA at least nine months before Australia's Olympic Trials, which means his paperwork would need to be in towards the end of May.

Full text of the Australian article.


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February 1, 2011 That would be very good news for swimming. Having said that, it will be very tough for him. I would expect Thorpe to swim 100
Submitted by: Max Argie
February 1, 2011 That would be very good news for swimming. Having said that, it will be very tough for him. I would expect Thorpe to swim 100
Submitted by: Max Argie
February 1, 2011 That would be very good news for swimming. Having said that, it will be very tough for him. I would expect Thorpe to swim 100
Submitted by: Max Argie
February 1, 2011 I'll try again!
That would be very good news for swimming. Having said that, it will be very tough for him. I would expect Thorpe to swim 100 & 200 free, but not the 400. A re-match with Phelps in 200 would be great (I hope this announcemt re-ignites Phelps competitiveness). However, I think Agnel will beat both of them in London. Biedermann and Park will be there too, tough for Phelps as well.
Submitted by: Max Argie
February 1, 2011 Here it goes again. Somehow it's not displaying the whole comment..
That would be very good news for swimming. Having said that, it will be very tough for him. I would expect Thorpe to swim 100 & 200 free, but not the 400. A re-match with Phelps in 200 would be great (I hope this announcemt re-ignites Phelps competitiveness). However, I think Agnel will beat both of them in London. Biedermann and Park will be there too, tough for Phelps as well.
Submitted by: Max Argie
February 1, 2011 I can see Thorpe as a contributor on the relays but I don't think he will be a threat individually. If somehow he makes a 200 final, there is just too much competition. I'm not forgeting how great Thorpe was but that's all in the past. It's a new era in swimming. 28 years old is pretty old in swimming.
Submitted by: philipmj24
February 1, 2011 I tend to agree with Philipmj24, not that 28 years old is all that old anymore, but that he probably won't be a threat in individual events. Unless he had started the comeback a year or two earlier, and also taken a cue from Phelps focusing more on the 100/strength training. But then again the 100 is loaded too, and it wasn't his event, so probably not. Lezak got an bronze at 32 but that was his speciality and he hadn't retired for many years. I think alot will depend on his mental game; if he thinks he doesn't have a chance in individual events then he won't, if he does then he has an outside chance. Otherwise, yeah, just the relays.
Submitted by: liquidassets
February 1, 2011 It´s official now: http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8205258
Submitted by: nadador
February 1, 2011 I wonder if Huegill helped to inspire him? What Geoff has done is incredible.
Submitted by: ShortChange
February 1, 2011 Follow the link on my last comment. It is exactly Huegill who inspired him..
Submitted by: nadador
February 2, 2011 He doesn't mention Huegill in the article. Is it from the video link up? I can't get it to play for me.
Submitted by: ShortChange
February 9, 2011 I wouldn't count Thorpe out of the medals in the 200 free at all. 28 is not old. Look what Dara Torres did after retiring and coming back at age 33, and then retiring again and coming back at 41 and missing Olympic gold by .01. Jason Lezak was 33 in Beijing and obviously swimming better than ever. Thorpe doesn't seem like the kind of guy who let himself gain 100 pounds in retirement. And this is a guy who knows what it takes to compete at the top and who has done extraordinary things. If he says he's coming back for real, you'd better believe it.
Submitted by: DoctorG
February 9, 2011 If thorpe trains with Huegill he will be in great hands. Watch out for him in the sprints. He is going to have great power this time around.
Submitted by: fluxNutrition
February 10, 2011 Wow he's been training for a while. Nice to see him back in swimming and for the right reason's. His own desire to compete. Go Thorpe!!!!!
Submitted by: Dr.Roman
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Ian Thorpe
Courtesy of: Justin Rothwell

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