Updated May 3, 2010
SYDNEY, Australia, May 2. LONGTIME swimming king, at least before Michael Phelps came along, Ian Thorpe was reported to have considered a return from retirement with hopes of earning a spot on Australia's 400 free relay at the 2012 London Olympics, according to an article in the Herald Sun.
Thorpe, who retired in 2006, reportedly had been having conversations regarding a potential return to help buoy Australia's medal hopes in the relay in 2012.
"I guess it's one of those never-say-never situations," Thorpe's manager Dave Flaskas told the Herald Sun. "Nothing is impossible but as far as I'm aware there is nothing startling planned for the immediate future. His diary is pretty jammed and he hasn't discussed anything with me. But he is in great shape … he's lost a lot of weight and is still swimming. It would make a great story."
Thorpe, however, released the following statement, reported by the Associated Press, shortly after the rumors took the swimming community by storm:
"I have no intention of returning to competitive swimming. My position at the media conference in 2006 announcing the discontinuation of my competitive swimming career has not changed."
Thorpe ended his career as the first person to win Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year on four different occasions. A record that stood until Michael Phelps broke it with his fifth title in 2008. Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals during his career including three at his home Olympics in Sydney in 2000.