Wednesday, 28 July 2010

100 Greatest Sports Stars - Number 99 - Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe breaks the 400m World Record in 2002.
Nicknamed the Thorpedo or Thorpey, Ian Thorpe, the Australian freestyle swimmer, comes in at number 99 on our list of the top 100 greatest sports stars ever.  All told he won five Olympic gold medals which is a record for an Australian and he was also the first person ever to win six gold medal in a single World Championship.  His results are staggering, 11 World Championship golds (the second highest ever by a swimmer).  The pool was his natural home and as well as being made Australian Swimmer of the Year for four years in a row he was also given the title of Young Australian of the Year in 2000.

He started young, too, first representing his country at the tender age of 14.  Plus he was the youngest individual World Chamion when he won the 400 meter freestyle in 1998 (when he was 16).  From that point there was no stopping the boy wonder and he dominated the 400 meters until his break after the Olympics of 2004.

He had 13 individual long course world records to his name and with teammates five relay world records,  When he won the bronze in Athens for the 100m freestyle it made him the only man to have ever won medals in the 1-2-4 hundred meter combination.  It is unlikely that this track record will be beaten any time soon.

In this video, Thorpe shows the five major strokes important to success in the freestyle event.

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