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Forgotten Camera Kept Thorpe from Being Atop World Trade Center Tuesday Morning -- September 13, 2001

SYDNEY, Sept. 13. AUSTRALIA'S triple Olympic swimming champion, and six-time 2001 world champion, Ian Thorpe, would have been on the top of the World Trade Center at the time of the attack if he hadn't forgotten his camera, according to a report by Reuters news agency.

The Australian teenager had been on his way to the Trade Center's observation deck when he suddenly remembered he had left his camera in his hotel.

Thorpe went back to fetch the camera and was about to return to the Trade Center when the first hijacked plane crashed into the twin towers.

"He was probably 20 minutes away from being there," Frank Turner, one of Thorpe's managers, told Australian radio today.

"He was shocked...a few minutes later and who knows what could have happened?"

Thorpe won three gold medals at last year's Sydney Olympics and another six golds at this year's world championships in Japan.