Fighting swimmer’s block
Coming back to swimming has not been an easy task for Ian Thorpe and he outlines some of the pain in a new documentary writes
AN Thorpe, Australia’s most successful Olympian, is currently training at his Swiss base, in preparation for next year’s World Championships in Barcelona.
Barely sighted since failing to qualify in March for the London Olympics, Thorpe has returned to the pool and training under Russian-born coach Gennadi Touretski.
A friend of Thorpe’s confirmed he was training to compete at next year’s World Championships.
‘‘That’s the plan and it’s all systems go,’’ the friend said, stating Thorpe was also ‘‘eyeing off’’ the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
In a new documentary detailing Thorpe’s 18-month bid to make it to the London Olympics as part of the Australian swimming team, the champion swimmer said he suffered from periods of ‘‘depression’’ and ‘‘anxiety’’ during his comeback bid.
‘‘I can’t breathe – it’s like I’m drowning,’’ he said of the pressure he felt just eight weeks prior to the Olympic trials in Adelaide last March.
Thorpe says he saw a physiologist to overcome his ‘‘fear of being successful, but being miserable in my sport’’.
Thorpe also revealed the dark days in 2010, when he was forced to confirm his financial empire was in ruin.
Following the realisation he had not secured a place on the Australian team, a clearly dejected Thorpe said: ‘‘It’s tough to comprehend. I worked so hard to do this, I haven’t really thought about what to do now, I didn’t plan for this.’’
Thorpe is expected to appear as a commentator at this month’s Olympics, though he is expected to be working for a British broadcaster and not local rights holders Channel Nine and Foxtel.
Thorpe is also set to release his autobiography later this year.
Sunday, 7.30pm, ABC1.
Ian Thorpe is in training to continue his comeback.