CAN you believe he is nearly 35?

It seems just a few years ago Ian Thorpe was fist-punching the air and taking home gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and then again in Athens in 2004.

But what is everyday life like for Australia’s greatest ever Olympian?

After winning five Olympic swimming medals when he was just 17 years old, now he can only swim one lap after struggling with injury and infection in his shoulder. But he admits he is in the happiest, most optimistic and most confident space of his life.

There has been much water under the Thorpie bridge since gaining his fair share of gold as well as one thing that “kills” him when he thinks back to it.

WHAT IS A NORMAL DAY?
When I have a proper routine, I get up at 7am. And I’ve worked really hard at getting up then as it used to be 4.17am every morning for a very long time. I get out of bed I get going. I think if you snooze you’re kind of wasting some of your day. And then you snooze through the day. Set your alarm and get up as late as you can possibly get up and get up then.
I have a trainer and the reason I have a trainer is that I need to feel I am letting someone else down if I don’t turn up!

YOU’RE A BIT OF A COOK? WHAT’S YOUR FAVE?
I organise with how I eat at home and I set ideas during the week. I prep on a Sunday and I cook meals ahead of time for the rest of the week. If I go out to a restaurant I’ll eat what I want but I don’t eat large portions and if I have a glass of wine with a meal, I’ll have to skip dessert.

My favourite food to cook is Indian because when you are dry roasting spices the smell around the kitchen is something else. If I’m out, I will either eat something quite decadent or very clean.

DO YOU MISS SWIMMING?
I have had two shoulder reconstructions in a very short space of time and then I got one of those hideous infections in hospital before I could have a shoulder replacement. I am working with a trainer so I can do a lap, and that’s just before I kind of feel this crunch.

WHERE WOULD YOU STILL LIKE TO TRAVEL?
I’ve worked in India and I would like to find a period to go and really discover India and the same can be said for Easter Island and the Galápagos Islands. They are bucket list destinations, and I’ll get there eventually.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO COLLABORATE WITH?
This one that I am doing (for Specsavers) it a campaign that is designed for people who are around 35 and that is the age when you first need to get your eyes tested. We under appreciate our eyes until we start having issues.
Of all the things I have done in the past, and everything I want to do in the future, it has made me realise what a big part good eyesight plays. I’ve used my eyes throughout my career — I actually couldn’t have done it without them.

PAPARAZZI: HOW DO YOU REACT TO THEM?
It is neither good or bad, it’s kind of something in between. Most people are pretty good to be honest. There is the intrusive part that you feel like you don’t have the privacy you want. But I kind of accept it and realise that OK, it’s not the end of the world. And if it gets dangerous on the street and someone starts stalking you, that’s another thing.

YOU HAVE A NEW PROJECT IN PIPELINE. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?
It is a performance mentoring group. It is how to find a way to get back to that state when you were at your very best. When you had a performance that was just kind of effortless. I had those kinds of moments when I was swimming and I know what it is. You can actually train yourself with a little bit of work to be able to ‘queue’ yourself back into that mental state. But you have to practice.

IS FASHION STILL SOMETHING YOU STILL REALLY LOVE?
I have to wear clothes and I don’t have as good a body as when I was swimming (laughs) so I have to wear more clothes. I think (Australian) men and women have really lifted their fashion game.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING IAN THORPE?
We all get to choose how you feel about most things. You can deal with it on the spot and choose to move on or you can worry about it until you can’t worry about it anymore. And I’ve chosen the former.

I have been so fortunate to meet people just because of something I have achieved. I am lucky to have conversations and friendships with some incredibly interesting people.

I don’t know what I ‘hate’ the most: you know what? I’ll get back to you on that as I don’t like ‘hate.’

Source: news.com.au

This article was originally posted on news.com.au