Ian Thorpe believes he can qualify for the Rio Olympics at age 33, he told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News at an event in Istanbul on Friday.
“There is no physical reason why I cannot swim in Rio, but I have to consider whether or not my body can hold up for it,” Thorpe said, adding that he first had to concentrate on the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated Olympian with nine medals (five gold) over the 2000 and 2004 Games, announced a comeback before London 2012 but failed to qualify in either the 100- or 200-meter freestyles at the Australian Olympic trials last year. He still went to London, as a commentator for the BBC.
That didn’t stop his swimming, though. Thorpe had his sights set on this summer’s world championships in Barcelona until the entries list for April’s trials in Australia was released without his name.
Thorpe, 30, said he considered himself more like a 26-year-old in terms of swimming age because of the four-plus years he took off in retirement beginning in 2006.
He added that he has a shoulder injury, though the report did not specify how long it’s bothered him. He’s been training an hour at a time six times per week rather than two hours at a time 10 times per week, he said.
“To actually be a champion you have to be willing to let go of it and pass it on to the next champion, and that’s always going to happen,” Thorpe told the Hurriyet Daily News.
It appears Thorpe is not willing to let go just yet.