The Australian media is reporting that Olympic superstar Ian Thorpe has been admitted to a Sydney hospital to fight “his decade-long battle with depression and alcohol abuse.”
According to the Herald Sun, who say they spoke with Thorpe’s family, the 31-year old has been battling alcoholism for a long time, which was confirmed to them by broadcaster Alan Jones: a close friend of Thorpes.
Thorpe first opened up about his struggles in an autobiography published last year.
Thorpe, considered one of the best freestylers in swimming history, has a total of 9 Olympic medals, 5 of which are gold. He attempted a comeback for the 2012 Olympics, but failed to make the team at the Olympic Trials. A shoulder injury has derailed his plans to continue a comeback.
Depression in athletes after retirement is becoming a heavily studied topic, with psychologists believing that the number of sacrifices and the amount of whole-life commitment required to be an elite athlete can leave a jarring hole after retirement. Read more here.