Ian Thorpe quits

Sydney, November 21:

Ian Thorpe liked to do things on his terms. No surprise, then, that he retired from swimming at the seemingly so-much-more-to-prove age of 24.

The five-time Olympic champion pulled the plug on Tuesday on a career that made his name synonymous with the sport’s elite. “You can swim lap after lap, staring at a black line, and all of a sudden you look up and see what’s around,” Thorpe said on Tuesday. “That’s what it feels like to me.” Thorpe won the 200-metre and 400m freestyle events at the Athens Olympics — which turned out to be his last major international meet.

On Tuesday, Thorpe sat alone before more than 100 journalists and photographers. He didn’t mess around: within several minutes, he told the world he was quitting. Nicknamed “Thorpedo,” he is regarded as one of the best in the sport, winning 11 world titles and setting 13 long-course world records.