Retired Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has received Sport Australia’s top honour: “Legend” status in its prestigious Hall of Fame.
Thorpie is the most successful male Olympian in Australian history. Over nine years of elite swimming, Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals and set 23 world records.
At age 17, Thorpe was an undisputed champion at our Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He claimed three gold and two silver medals in front of his home crowd.
On Monday, Thorpe, as well as cricketer Dennis Lillee, were designated “Legends” by Sport Australia. Both men joined 42 other greats in the Hall of Fame.
Sport Australia describes the designation as “the pinnacle of sporting honours” for an Aussie athlete.
They reserve the honour for “greats who have distinguished themselves at the absolute highest level and whose achievements are part of Australian folklore.”
Ian Thorpe said it was “an honour and a privilege” to join the group of people who he says “shaped the Australian sporting and cultural identity” around the world.
“They asked whether I was willing to accept the award and of course I said yes,” he told Seven’s Sunrise.
“To be amongst that group of legends who have been there before is a wonderful thing.
“Hopefully this inspires more people to be able to move into that status as well.”
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) November 21, 2021
Ian Thorpe recalls proudest moment in the pool
Ian Thorpe told Sunrise a career highlight that he was most proud of was his first wins at Sydney 2000 Olympics.
“That first night at the Olympics I achieved my childhood dream of becoming an Olympic champion,” he said.
“Then backing it up in the 4×100 freestyle relay.
“[Before the race] the Americans told us they would smash us like guitars. And that didn’t work out too well for them!”
Earlier this year, the retired swimmer received a warm reception from Aussies as a Tokyo 2020 Olympics commentator.
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