Ian Thorpe

by Alan from California

Ian Thorpe: Great Swimmer and Person

Ian Thorpe is remembered as a swimmer, world record holder, and arguably Australia’s greatest ever Olympian, but Australia’s Thorpedo has done more for the world than just win medals and set new records. Although Thorpe is one of the greatest swimmers who have ever competed, he has also done things for good causes such as making generous donations to organizations, and other things to try and make the world a better place. He was only five when he started swimming and fought an allergy that affected his swimming, which proved his determination, and he was only fifteen when he became the world champion in the four hundred meter freestyle. This shows Thorpe’s swimming accomplishments but he has done so much more for example, starting his own charity organization when he was only eighteen years old. Ian Thorpe is a hero because he is motivational, motivational enough to prove that limits cannot be put on athletics. He is a hero who cares, cares enough to start a foundation for underprivileged children. Ian Thorpe also stands out as a hero because of his determination, determination that causes him to be willing to break through limitations in front of him. He is a man deserving the title of a hero.

Ian Thorpe was born on October 13, 1982 in Sydney, Australia. Ian came from a family of athletes with his father being a great cricketer, and his mother being a skilled netball player. Ian was only five years old when he decided to take on swimming. He started off swimming with his older sister, who only started swimming for physical therapy due to an injury. At first he was forced to swim with his head above the water because of an allergy to chlorine, but he continued on with a passion for his swimming and won the very first race he ever entered. Eventually, he overcame his allergies to chlorine and continued on with his competitive swimming. Thorpe became very skilled and became the world’s greatest swimmer in the four hundred meter freestyle when he was 15. This accomplishment made him the youngest ever world champion in swimming. From there his swimming career only improved, and it improved rapidly. He has broken twenty two world records, won the most ever world championship swimming titles, and was awarded a trophy by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) that said “The world’s most outstanding athlete”. Along with all of his athletic accomplishments he is also a man of good character. He once earned $25,000 and donated it to a cancer institute in Australia. He also started the Ian Thorpe’s Foundation for Youth in 2000 to directly help children in need. In 2006 He announced his permanent retirement from competitive swimming, and he currently continues his life in Sydney. Ian Thorpe is a man of incredible accomplishments in and out of the pool. He is a man worthy of admiration.


Ian Thorpe is a hero because of his kindness and consideration for other people. He is a hero who knows how to show that he cares. A perfect example of Thorpe’s caring attitude is “In 1999, Ian made history when he broke four world records in four days at the Pan Pacific Championships in Sydney. He won $25,000 and donated it to Lifeline and the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia.” (“Ian Thorpe OAM”). This proves that he is caring because he put the money towards a good cause rather than spend the money that he earned on himself. He is a hero because making a difference in the world is better to him than just spending money selfishly. A good example of his consideration and care is when “Ian created and launched Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth in 2000 which has allowed him to support children in need, improving health and education outcomes for children, especially indigenous children in Australia.” (“Ian Thorpe OAM”). This shows how much he is willing to help the people who need more people like him. This also shows that he is actually making an effort to make the world better even if it’s just a little at a time. A hero must be a caring person, and a person who is not afraid of showing that they care. Ian Thorpe is one of those people.

Ian Thorpe is a hero who does not let boundaries stand between him and what he loves. He started out with an immediate challenge as he had an allergic reaction to chlorine, which forced him to swim with his head above the water. Looking back at that today, he obviously never let that stand in his way. For example, “Ian has broken 22 world records, has won three gold and two silver medals at his first Olympic Games and two gold, one silver and one bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics and in doing so has become Australia’s greatest ever Olympian. He has won 11 World Championship titles (the most ever), ten Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine Pan Pacific titles.” (“Ian Thorpe OAM”). This is an example of his amazing athletic accomplishments and the incredible amount of effort he puts towards swimming. This is also a good example of how he is willing to exceed all expectations to achieve something important to him. Another key to Thorpe’s success that he uses wisely to attain his goals is attitude. Former teammate to Thorpe, Kieren Perkins, explains how impressed with Ian he is when he says “being that fast is mot as impressive as being that together.”(qtd. In Cazenueve).This shows how Ian’s mind is set towards his goals and he will not let anything distract him. This also shows how much of an impact he can have on others, even another championship swimmer like Perkins. Ian knows how to prepare himself mentally and physically to be a champion; these are the traits of a hero.


Ian Thorpe is an inspiration because he cares for people enough to give people in need an opportunity to live better, and because he has proven that with commitment and determination he holds the strength strong to break mental restrictions. “From a young age, Ian has been renowned for being highly articulate, generous and empathetic.” (“Ian Thorpe OAM”). This quote shows how Ian has been raised as a leader who shows maturity and skill, and wants to be remembered that way. It also proves that with his unwanted fame, he knew how to put it toward something good. Thorpe’s commitment, love, and determination towards swimming have allowed him to accomplish so much. “Despite early problems with an allergy to chlorine, Ian persevered in his swimming lessons and won the first race he ever entered - even though he had to swim with his face out of the water due to the allergy.” (“Ian Thorpe”). This shows how he is willing to go against all odds if he really wants something. It also shows how he is willing to cope with restrictions to reach the expectations that he sets for himself. Ian Thorpe is a hero with determination and care, and also how motivational he is to others. He won’t let himself down, and he won’t let others down. Ian Thorpe is truly a deserving hero.

Page created on 5/27/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/27/2010 12:00:00 AM

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