SYDNEY, Australia, January 27. UNLESS he has a change of heart, Ian Thorpe plans to retire from swimming after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. That Olympiad will be Thorpe's third and the freestyle ace will be 25, still young enough to compete at an elite level. But, Thorpe indicated that he is likely to hang up the suit following the events of China. Thorpe has a seven-year deal with adidas that could run through the 2012 Olympics in London if he desires.
"It's not out of the question, but at the moment I intend to retire in Beijing," Thorpe said in an article that appeared in The Australian. "It (the adidas deal) is there if I want to go on, but if I decide that I don't want to, I can become an ambassador for adidas."
A five-time gold medalist in Olympic competition, Thorpe is preparing for the Aussie Commonwealth Games Trials, scheduled to begin early next week in Melbourne. Thorpe will contest the 100 and 200 freestyles and will see action in his first major meet since the Olympics in Athens. Following the 2004 Games, Thorpe opted for an extended break from competition.