Nicknamed ‘Thorpedo’, Ian Thorpe was the pride of Australia during the 2000 Sydney Olympics as he claimed five medals in the pool, making him the most successful athlete at the Games. At the age of 14, he became the youngest male ever to represent Australia, and his victory in the 400 metre freestyle at the 1998 Perth World Championships made him the youngest ever individual male World Champion.
After winning another four medals at the 2004 Olympics, Thorpe decided to take a year out of swimming and return for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. However illness delayed his return, before waning motivation led him to retire in November 2006. The Australian began training again in 2011 with the aim of taking part in the 2012 Olympics, but he failed to qualify.