Ian Thorpe announced today that he would be retiring from competitive swimming. The news was greeted with immense disappointment in the Australian swimming world, especially as Thorpe offered his position to Craig Stevens.
Speaking at a press conference, the former world champion acknowledged that he was struggling for motivation and said he wanted to spend the Beijing Olympics with a new couch, not with his coach. Thorpe denied that he has lost his love of the pool, claiming that he still loved the water but has just tired of swimming relentless laps.
“I’ve been doing a lot more work on my Marco Polo,” said Thorpe sneaking around the edge of his pool. “And if they just put the 100m on Pool Ponies I’d be there.” Thorpe said he is keen to take on more challenges outside swimming.
“I’m only 24, and there are many other careers where abnormally large feet are considered an asset, such as the porn industry,” he said. Thorpe’s coaches said they had tried everything to get Thorpe motivated again including dressing up his swimming lanes as fashion catwalks.
“We tried putting pearls at each end of the pool to encourage him, but even he recognised how naff they were.”
In an attempt to overcome his motivational problems Thorpe even met with American motivational speaker Anthony Robbins.
“It worked at first, all I had to do was think of that big lipped freak repeating his inane mantra and the fear would make me swim faster,” said Thorpe from his Sydney home. “But by the end nothing could make me swim. Not Robbins, not millions in endorsements, not even Laurie Laurence leading the whole team in the chicken dance.”