IAN THORPE OAM

Ian Thorpe’s achievements in the water are nothing short of phenomenal.  He is one of the country’s most prolific sportsmen, but it is the way he has managed his success and his genuine humility and commitment to helping others that most people find incredible and has earned him respect and admiration internationally. It is difficult to fathom how a 25 year old has achieved so much and he still has so much ahead of him following his recent withdrawal from competitive swimming.

Ian has broken 22 world records, has won three gold and two silver medals at his first Olympic Games and two gold, one silver and one bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics and in doing so has become Australia’s greatest ever Olympian. He has won 11 World Championship titles (the most ever), ten Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine Pan Pacific titles.  He is currently the world record holder for the 400m freestyle event (plus holds the short course world records in the 200m and 4 x 200m freestyle events). Ian also broke the Commonwealth record in the 200m individual medley event at the 2003 Australian Championships and again at the 2003 World Championship in Barcelona.

Ian’s professional approach to swimming, his ability to deliver under pressure and his humble attitude and integrity have earned him praise from his peers, the public and world leaders.  In Japan 2001, Ian won the most gold medals ever at a single World Championships.  Four out of the six gold medals were in world record times and he is the only swimmer in history to successfully defend a 400m freestyle world & Olympic title.  Ian’s unbelievable achievements have also given him international celebrity status.

Ian has also hosted and appeared on an abundance of non-sport related TV shows.  He has been the promotional face of international events and the recipient of dozens of outstanding awards in Australia, France, China, USA and Japan.  The IAAF awarded him the 2001 American International Athlete Trophy as “The World’s Most Outstanding Athlete”, in 2002 he was voted by the Foreign Press as the best representative of Australian culture, attitude and ideals, and was awarded the “2002 Australian Face Abroad Award”. Ian received the 2003 Outstanding Male Athlete for the 24th Commonwealth Sports Awards, Sydney’s Greatest Ever Male Sports Star – as voted by readers of The Daily Telegraph and also the 2003 Telstra Australian Swimmer of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.

The Australian Championships have also been exceptionally successful for Ian.  He won his first national 100m title in 2001 and became the first man since John Konrads, 40 years ago, to win every freestyle event from 100m to 800m at a national championship. Altogether Ian has won an astonishing 21 national titles. 

From a young age, Ian has been renowned for being highly articulate, generous and empathetic.  In 1999, Ian made history when he broke four world records in four days at the Pan Pacific Championships in Sydney.  He won $25,000 and donated it to Lifeline and the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia. In the belief that all children should have a fair go, Ian created and launched Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth in 2000 which has allowed him to support children in need, improving health and education outcomes for children, especially Indigenous children in Australia.