Thorpe to Announce Swimming Legends to Join Dolphins in Adelaide

Australia’s greatest Olympian Ian Thorpe was back on pool deck at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Adelaide today in the countdown to next month’s 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships – for the Race To Rio.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist from Sydney and Athens will be amongst a host of swimming greats who will converge on the world class Centre for the eight-day Championships from April 7-14.

Thorpe will be joined by consecutive triple Olympic gold medallist and World Athlete of the Century, Dawn Fraser as well as fellow Olympic gold medallists John Konrads, his former Olympic team mates Michael Klim and Libby Trickett as well as SA’s own Paralympic legend Matt Cowdrey amongst others.

Swimming in Australia has a rich and decorated history, especially when it comes to the Olympics – dating back to our first Olympic champion Freddie Lane in 1900 in Paris – and like Thorpe an Olympic champion over 200 metres.

They are among only 33 Australians who have won individual Olympic gold medals.

“It is great to be back in Adelaide – a city that certainly brings back memories for me where I qualified for my first Australian team, back in 1997 for the Pan Pac meet in Fukuoka,” said Thorpe.

“I’m excited to see so many of our past champions supporting this year’s Championships which I’m sure will be as competitive as it always is in an Olympic year.

“Swimming in Australia has always been exciting to watch and I am sure from what I have seen already this year, 2016 will be no different – I can’t wait.

“Looking at last year’s World Championships and the progress from some of younger guys we will have a competitive team again.

“I’m sure Adelaide will enjoy what will be eight exciting days of  swimming and get behind the team and get along to the event – it’s only every four years you get the chance to come and witness history, see first hand our swimmers in the race to Rio.

“I’ll be there – come and join me.”

Thorpe was joined on the 1997 Pan Pac team by his long-time team mate from Sydney and Athens, Grant Hackett, as the pair joined forces to re-write the freestyle record books over 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle between 1999 and 2005.

Between them they set a remarkable 16 long course world records – 13 to Thorpe and three to Hackett, who will be attempting to become Australia’s oldest Olympic swimmer, at 36, when he lines up in the 200 and 400m freestyle at this year’s Championships.

“It’s a credit to Grant, he looks in great shape and I have to acknowledge what he has achieved to get his mind and body back into race mode again,” said Thorpe.

“The 400m freestyle on the opening night and then the 200m freestyle over the next two days will certainly be worth watching.

“But you look at what Emily Seebohm, Mitch Larkin, Bronte and Cate Campbell, Madi Wilson and Cam McEvoy have achieved and the spirit created in and around the Australian team and I think we are in for some exciting times ahead.”

The Championships will see a combination of established Olympians and a host of youngsters hoping to break into their first Olympic team.

The Australian Paralympic Team will be named on Wednesday, April 13 and the Australian Olympic Team will be named on Thursday night, April 14.

Ian Thorpe

DOB: October 13, 1982

Age: 33

Olympic Record

5 Gold (400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle – Sydney 2000; 200, 400m freestyle – Athens 2004)

3 Silver (200m freestyle, Sydney, 2000; 4x100m medley, Sydney 2000; 4x200m freestyle, Athens 2004)

1 Bronze (100m freestyle, Athens 2004)

Profile: In a remarkable international record, spanning eight years, Ian Thorpe won five Olympic gold; 11 Long Course World Championships; two World Short Course World Championships; 10 Commonwealth Games gold and nine Pan Pacific gold. He set 13 world long course records and four short course world records. He started his international career at the 1997 Pan Pacs in Fukuoka and his last major international meet was the 2004 Athens Olympics. Like Murray Rose in 1956 and 1960 he successfully defended his 400 metres freestyle gold from 2000 to 2004. In Athens in 2004 he became the only athlete in Olympic history to medal in the 200 (gold) and 400 metres freestyle (gold) and the 100m freestyle (bronze).

Swimming news courtesy of Swimming Australia.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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