Skip to content

Ian Thorpe says he will not try to swim at 2016 Rio Olympics

Jul 27, 2013, 9:49 AM EST

Ian Thorpe Getty Images

Ian Thorpe‘s Olympic career is over.

The nine-time Olympic medalist over 2000 and 2004 told the Telegraph in Australia he will continue swimming but won’t go after a third Games three years from now due to a shoulder injury.

“I don’t want to be the old man who can’t do things — to push out something that may not be realistic any more,” Thorpe said. “Although I am going to continue swimming, realistically I don’t think I will be able to get back to a position where I am at the top of the sport.”

Thorpe, 30, will still train “purely for the love of swimming,” according to the Telegraph.

“I kept on not being able to get through (training sessions), and then I decided I am just going to push through it, basically I have moved the positioning of my scapula that’s caused a tremendous amount of tension on the front of my shoulder,” Thorpe told the newspaper. “When I did it, I was advised, you have two options, one is surgery and the second is you have to rest. I have had surgery once before. It was just after I stopped swimming the first time, it took me around two years to recover and I have decided I am not having surgery again.”

Thorpe won three gold medals and two silvers at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and became the world’s greatest all-around swimmer before Michael Phelps matured between the Sydney and Athens Games.

In Athens, Thorpe won two golds, one silver and one bronze. He’s matched with fellow swimmer Leisel Jones as the most decorated Australian Olympian of all time.

Thorpe retired between the Athens and Beijing Olympics but announced a comeback in 2011 with an eye on the 2012 Olympics. Thorpe failed to make the Australian Olympic team for London but continued on.

“I am grateful I was able to return to my sport,” he told the Telegraph. “If not I would have spent my life wondering and probably not liking my sport so much. But in return I have been able to discover the beauty of what I do, but also how I feel when I swim. When I get it right, it’s like nothing on the planet.”

Swimming world championships broadcast schedule

Latest Posts
  1. Rio Olympic Park construction progress (photos)

    Nov 28, 2014, 2:57 PM EST

    Rio Olympic Park

    How the venues for basketball, swimming and other sports are coming along.

  2. Mikaela Shiffrin: ‘I’m trying to show people what’s not impossible’

    Nov 28, 2014, 11:33 AM EST

    Mikaela Shiffrin Getty Images

    The youngest Olympic slalom champion tries to emulate one skier above all the rest — an Olympic men’s champion.

  3. Four-year ban sought for Carolina Kostner

    Nov 28, 2014, 11:17 AM EST

    Carolina Kostner Getty Images

    Kostner, the Olympic and World figure skating bronze medalist, is taking this season off.

  4. Seb Coe outlines concerns for track and field, eyes IAAF presidency

    Nov 28, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

    Seb Coe Getty Images

    Coe sees problems with the World Championships and Diamond League.

  5. Iouri Podladtchikov out after ankle surgery

    Nov 28, 2014, 10:41 AM EST

    Iouri Podladtchikov Getty Images

    Olympic champion’s status for World Championships in January is unclear.

  6. Gracie Gold leads NHK Trophy; Yuzuru Hanyu struggles

    Nov 28, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    Gracie Gold Getty Images

    Grand Prix final picture includes plenty of Americans.

  7. Rio Olympic golf course work can continue, judge orders

    Nov 28, 2014, 9:42 AM EST

    Rio Olympic golf course AP

    Legal battle may not be finished, however.

  8. Sapporo mayor plans 2026 Winter Olympic bid

    Nov 28, 2014, 9:24 AM EST

    Sapporo Getty Images

    Japanese site could break a 46-year Winter Olympic streak.

  9. Viktor Tikhonov tribute held at hockey arena (video)

    Nov 28, 2014, 8:47 AM EST

    Viktor Tikhonov Getty Images

    Tikhonov died earlier this week at 84 after a long illness.

  10. Ted Ligety (wrist) out this weekend

    Nov 28, 2014, 8:15 AM EST

    Ted Ligety Getty Images

    Olympic champion hopes to return for Beaver Creek next weekend.

  11. NBC Sports, Universal to air unprecedented U.S. ski, snowboard coverage this season

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:06 PM EST

    Ted Ligety Getty Images

    Full schedule of coverage across World Cups, Grand Prix events and World Championships.

  12. U.S. figure skaters officially bronze medalists, 50 years later

    Nov 26, 2014, 7:42 AM EST

    Vivian Joseph, Ronald Joseph Getty Images

    Sister-brother team had bronze medals, but the official results didn’t reflect that until Tuesday.

  13. Katie Ledecky faces decisions in 2015, 2016

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:46 AM EST

    Katie Ledecky Getty Images

    Scheduling conflicts, another new event?

  14. Rio Olympic commemorative coins to be issued

    Nov 25, 2014, 9:27 AM EST

    Rio Olympic coins

    Christ the Redeemer, Olympic motto honored on the coins.

  15. Michael Phelps back in the pool; Phelps, Ledecky win Golden Goggles

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:23 PM EST

    Michael Phelps Getty Images

    Phelps is working toward 2015 goals, a North Baltimore official said.

  16. Pat Quinn, who coached Canada to gold in 2002, dies at 71

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:25 AM EST

    Pat Quinn Getty Images

    Canada won its first men’s hockey Olympic gold in 50 years under Quinn.

  17. Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza win World Boxing Championships

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:11 AM EST

    Claressa Shields Getty Images

    Olympic champion Shields was named the tournament’s best overall boxer.

  18. Viktor Tikhonov, Soviet Union Olympic hockey coach, dies at 84

    Nov 24, 2014, 9:17 AM EST

    Viktor Tikhonov Getty Images

    Tikhonov led the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice game.