Ian Thorpe, John Carew Inducted into Australia Sport Hall of Fame

MELBOURNE, Australia, October 9. AUSTRALIA's most successful Olympian Ian Thorpe and master swim coach John Carew were last night inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in Melbourne.

Thorpe, the winner of more gold medals than any other Olympian – five – in Sydney and Athens – is one of the youngest to achieve the status – but he has a record second to none.

Apart from his five Olympic gold medals Thorpe, who turns 26 on Monday, has 13 world titles and 22 world records to his name.

He set the swimming world alight from his first World Championship in 1998 to his final gold medal in 2004.

It was a whirlwind seven-year reign of dominance over 200, 400 and 800 meters and relay swims that had to be seen to be believed.

Fittingly, the great Murray Rose, who like Thorpe made his Olympic debut at a home Olympics (1956) and won back-to-back 400m freestyle gold medals, was on hand to make the presentation.

Rose, Dawn Fraser and Shane Gould are the only swimmers to reach "Legend" status in the Hall of Fame – that honor may await Thorpe at a later date.

For Carew, it was a fitting acknowledgement for not only one of Australia's great swimming coaches but a great Australian.

Unfortunately the 81-year-old Carew is hospitalized in Brisbane and was unable to attend the black tie function at the Crown Palladium Ballroom in Melbourne.

But the man who he tailor-made to become "King of the Pool" – dual Olympic gold medalist Kieren Perkins was on hand with Carew's three children to accept the award – the 10th swimming coach to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Perkins spoke glowingly of the man he still calls "Mr Carew" as a mark of respect to the coach who took him from the wading pool at the age of nine to Olympic champion in 10 years.

The partnership of Carew and Perkins chalked up two Olympic gold and two silver; two world championships; three Commonwealth Games gold; three Pan Pacific gold and eight world records.

Carew becomes the 10th coach to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and joins fellow legendary coaches Fred Cavill, Frank Gutherie, Sam Herford, Forbes Carlile, Harry Gallagher, Joe King, Terry Gathercole, Don Talbot and Laurie Lawrence in a who's who of swimming coaches.

Perkins was glowing in his praise for the man who prowled the pooldeck morning, noon and night.

"Everything I achieved I owe to Mr Carew," said Perkins, "he not only made me the swimmer I was but also the man I am today. After all I probably spent more time with him than I did with my own parents – he was a wonderful influence on my career and my life."

Special thanks to Swimming Australia for contributing this report.