Today in Swimming History: November 20th, 2006 – Thorpe Retires

It was on this day, November 20th, that Ian Thorpe announced his retirement from the sport of swimming 5 years ago.

This bit of history is an apropos nugget in the shadow of Thorpe’s return to the sport two weeks ago on the Asian swing of the World Cup series. There, his times weren’t spectacular (he’s not even close to qualifying for the Olympics), but when considered in the context of how long he was out of competitive swimming, maybe they weren’t so bad afterall.


  • Haley Anderson, 20 – One of the stars of the USC Trojans, Anderson made her first international debut this past summer as a member of the American open water squad in Shanghai.
  • Wang Xiaohong, 43 – 1992 Olympic silver medalist for China, Wang now is the head coach of the California Dolphins Swim Team.


Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Everyone is so different! I remember Dara Torres first of her comebacks (of many ha ha) back in 1999. She had been out of the water for more years than Ian Thorpe. Yet, on her first competition (NY leg of the World Cup – I was there), she swam amazing times, and the rest is history. And now she is looking as good as ever! I really hope she does well, and win medals in London. Libby, on the other hand, wasn’t out for more than 8 or 9 months, and yet, is still a long ways from her best times… Then there are B. Hansen and Ed Moses…Moses became an “overnight” sensation, setting WR mere months after he started… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!