Ian Thorpe, one of the greatest swimmers in the history of the sport, was taken to the Bankstown Hospital and Rehabilitation Clinic early this morning after being found in a disorientated state in a suburban neighbourhood of Sydney early this morning.
At approximately 3 am Monday morning a 14 year old boy heard someone outside of his family’s home, the boy thought someone was trying to break into their vehicle. After investigating the situation he found that was not the case, but that Thorpe had been disorientated while walking on their street attempting to find a friend’s car.
In the meantime the boy’s father had called the authorities, who arrived soon after and took Thorpe into ‘protective custody.’
Thorpe was taken to the hospital by the police who have explained that there is no reason for them to be involved any longer, “No official complaint has been made and no further police action is anticipated,’’ police said.
There was no alcohol involved in the incident, Thorpe’s disorientation was due to the mixture of anti-depressents and pain killers.
Thorpe’s agent James Erskine talked at length with the Sydney Morning Herald about the situation, “He had taken antidepressants and painkillers because of his shoulder,” Mr Erskine said of the incident on Monday. “He had not been drinking. There was no alcohol involved. He was disorientated and tried to get into what he thought was a friend’s car.”
It was reported last week that Thorpe had been admitted to hospital for depression and alcohol related issues, something that was denied by Erskine, explaining that the Olympic champion had undergone shoulder surgery after a fall.
Erskine explained today that Thorpe had been effected by the false reports, “There is no doubt about it, the false reports did upset him,” said Erskine.
“I’m not saying it sent him in a downward spiral but it did upset him. He didn’t go to rehab. That’s the truth. Everyone has to give him some space.”
“I’m sure he will get through it. He is going to need help and expert help and everyone pulling for him. His mum said to me that he was always the perfect schoolboy. He has huge expectations on himself. I think the fact that everyone is pulling for him that would make it a lot easier. He has never been a person who wants to disappoint anybody.”
Erskine went on to speak about Thorpe’s retirement and his need to find something to fill the void that swimming has left in his life, “He made the decision [last year] that he would give up competitive swimming,” Mr Erskine said. “There is plenty of things to do in life after swimming. He loves cooking, travel, and is a natural for television.
‘‘[He needs to find something that will] give him the same type of satisfaction [as swimming].”
Erskine only addressed Thorpe’s treatment moving forward, with his only reference to earlier reports that Thorpe was in rehabilitation for depression as ‘false reports.’ Whatever the timeline is, he is now receiving the medical care and support needed to help him deal with and manage his illness.
In a story published late last week in the Herald Sun that discussed the reasons for Thorpe’s earlier hospitalization, Kate Carnell, a nurse at the Bankstown Hospital, discussed her feelings about Thorpe and his illness, putting feelings into words that ring true no matter when his treatment began, “Far too many people, and particularly men, never take action to get appropriate treatment for depression and can spend their whole lives battling it alone.”
“Also, far too many people self-medicate with alcohol, which may provide temporary relief, but can do enormous damage to a person’s wellbeing in the long-run.”
“As one of the world’s greatest swimmers, Ian showed enormous strength, resilience and tenacity, and we all adored him for it.”
“Australians loved and supported him when he was winning and he needs our love and support again now.”