Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer (2012) Movie Script

I'm Ian Thorpe.
I'm 28 years of age.
I'm a swimmer.
Ian Thorpe interview,
January 16, 2011.
Day one.
Is he being a dickwit,
or is he being serious?
No, he's tagging.
No, I'm being serious.
'Cause the thing is...
He can hear you.
I look at what I can do,
and from what I've kind of seen,
I... I think that I can
swim faster
than what all the other people
are doing.
Do you think you can
swim faster than you did?
If I didn't think I could do it,
I'm putting at risk
my entire career
that, you know, is,
if you look at it,
you know, statistically,
it's pretty impressive...
And these people can't drive.
And I'm saying, 'You know what?
I want another crack at this.'
Um, I think there's more things that
I can do.
The team needs better results
than what it's had,
and I still think I have
something more to give.
The first talk of a comeback
was about December,
and really, that talk
has not stopped since then
and yesterday,
it became an avalanche...
I tell you what, Andy, he
still draws a crowd, Ian Thorpe.
Something like 15 cameras
from around the world,
all eyes on our most successful
Olympian in the pool.
A five-time Olympic
gold medallist and now...
So I just went down.
The room is quite big.
Yeah. They've had to
move the stage back...
Oh, God.
..because there's more people.
The level of expectation
that's on me is enormous.
It's probably only outweighed by
my own expectations.
And because of venous
drug testing requirements,
how long is it till you can race?
It's nine months
until I'm allowed to compete,
and we'll make a decision
on how much competition I need
as opposed to how much training
I need and the experience as well.
You know, I haven't felt this way
about swimming
for a very, very long time.
And then what
about this bloke? 15.
Lane 5.
Someone wake him up.
He's gotta swim the final.
Ian Thorpe of Australia.
Youngest Australian
male international
since John Konrads.
What a big moment for him.
And away.
Check both the Australians. Hackett,
a good start.
Likewise, Thorpe,
splitting the pair.
So the two Australians immediately
take it out in front.
Grant Hackett,
the young Australian,
is out by a couple
of body lengths.
And Thorpe has moved
to second place.
Australia, one and two.
Thorpe is moving through
He's timed his run to perfection.
It's Thorpe coming over the top.
Hackett is trying to hang on.
Great for Australia!
Two gold caps fighting it out!
Thorpe! Thorpe!
Thorpe may be in front.
Thorpe, Hackett.
Thorpe and Hackett, they go in.
They hit it! Thorpe won it!
World champion at 15!
Oh, that's unbelievable!
I was probably 13
when I actually started racing
in the open competition.
By the time I was 14,
I was on the national team,
and then I think it was
probably when I was 15, when...
Yeah, it was only when
I became world champion
that I actually went,
'Oh, I'm really good at this.'
That was the best tactical race
I have ever seen.
I don't know about that.
I just wasn't too sure
how I was gonna do it,
but, you know,
it paid off this time.
Yeah, it has been great having
my sister, who's also a swimmer,
and my dad, who was a cricketer, in
the family,
and, um, they've gotten behind me
and they've really helped me
with my swimming.
In 1997, I think I missed
108 of 200 days of school.
So I finished Year 10
by correspondence,
and I sat exams on planes
and things like that
just to finish it,
and then left school.
You know, I was in
an adult world then.
I wasn't in that, you know,
grow up with your mates
and go to parties and things.
You know, some of my friends,
to me, seemed old,
'cause they were
in their mid-to late-20s
and I knew them from the team.
Just continually having a camera
shoved in your face, really.
Um, you have to learn
how to speak, I think,
and I think it's gonna be
great for me in the future.
- Is he gonna do it?
- 3:43:80?
Thorpe comes in! Thorpe comes in!
It's pretty cool
that no-one swam faster than that
in history.
Let's look back at our history
as a species,
and, yeah,
you were faster than everyone,
so if the lions were chasing you,
you could beat everyone
and they'd eat someone else.
The Thorpedo.
The 16-year-old from Milperra
is at the 15-metre rope.
He's looking at another
world record.
World record, Sunday.
World record, Monday.
Will it be a world record
on Tuesday?
He comes down to touch.
Yes! Oh, yes! He's done it!
He has done it again!
I know I cried, his sister cried,
and I think Ken inwardly cried.
When I was younger,
you know, my goal was
to become an Olympian
and my dream was to win
Olympic gold.
So when I made the Olympic team, it
was frightening
because I've never swum
at the Olympics,
I feel like I'm just a kid...
- Take your marks.
- Set...
And Thorpe is away.
A new Olympic record
this morning.
Ian Thorpe
got a magnificent start.
Yes, the traditional
butterfly kick off the wall.
You can see it
under the water there.
And he's well ahead
of world record pace.
He is looking sensational.
Ian Thorpe is number one.
A kickstart for Australia.
Size 18 feet.
And look at that world record.
He's got it beaten.
Thorpe is coming in gold
and a world record.
Ian Thorpe!
I wish I enjoyed it more
when I won my first gold,
but I was actually
thinking of my next race.
Thorpey. Thorpey.
Even when I'm marching around
the pool with my gold medal,
you know, it's kind of neat
that you've got it,
but trying not to
let myself enjoy it too much
so I get distracted.
So it was, you know,
quite managed,
which is, you know, unfortunate,
but given, you know,
what was about to happen,
it was worthwhile.
The 4x100 freestyle relay
at the Sydney Olympics
was kind of, you know...
I guess, for Australians,
it was really an iconic moment
in sport.
You know, we were most definitely, in
that race, the underdogs.
Once we'd decided on our team
for the 4x100 relay,
there was a tremendous sense within
the entire swim team
that we could win this race.
Michael Klim has just
broken the world record.
Everyone in that race all went
far beyond their means
to produce that performance.
Round they go for the final 50.
Hall is in front.
What can the champ muster?
A gold medallist earlier tonight.
Now he's digging deep.
The crowd is roaring.
Their hero is coming up.
Hall and Thorpe. Thorpe's
in front! Thorpe and Hall!
Thorpe goes in! Australia win! New
world record!
We have just...
The Australians have just broke the
Americans' stranglehold.
Yeah, on paper,
we shouldn't have won.
The Americans were
the world record holders,
and they've never been beaten
in Olympic history,
and the euphoric way that you feel on
an occasion like that
is, you know...
It really is indescribable.
You know, all my dreams and more
happened on the first day,
um, and I think Australia woke up
with a hangover
after that day of competition.
So you're finally leaving
Australia to start your training.
That's exciting.
It's kind of weird as well, because
it's kind of...
It's like it's all happened now.
It's kind of, like,
the beginning of the next phase.
Yeah, it is. It really is.
It's great.
So... But it's cool.
And I had issues.
I was really stressed
at the airport
because I had issues filling in
my drug testing form
to give my whereabouts.
Um, you have to let them know where
you are
for one hour every day,
and if you're not there
in that one hour of the day,
you get a strike
against your name.
So if you get one strike,
you have to start providing
more information.
So... And I couldn't.
The system was so slow
in updating it
and I couldn't remember
how to do it.
Just, like...
I had a drug test last night.
Where? At home?
How did that go?
The funniest thing that I was,
You know, I think I'm pretty good at
it now, doing the sample,
and I...
So I finished giving my sample,
or was halfway through providing,
but I'd filled enough.
So I put the beaker thing,
and you've got a lid for it,
and so I was, like,
'Oh, I'll put the lid on
as I finish going to toilet,'
and I pushed it on,
hand soaked right through it.
I'm, like, 'Oh.' And then I'm, like,
'Is the sample big enough?'
I'm, 'Uh...' Trying to...
Yeah. Anyway, um...
So that was my drug test
last night.
So why have you come here
on your own? Is it to get away?
Is it to focus?
Yeah, it's just so that there's not
another layer of things
that I have to handle
and do and...
Why would you make something that's
already hard
more difficult?
That's what I like about my sport and
about training,
that pursuit of perfection.
Ask me in six months, but,
you know, when I compete,
I compete knowing that, you know,
I've trained harder
than everyone else,
and usually my competitors
know that as well,
so when it comes to race day, uh,
usually I have very little concern
around what I'm gonna do.
So how are you going
with getting back to that
elite level of training?
Is it going well?
Well, not crap. I'm just not as good
as I should be.
But there's something
in the combination of my size,
my hip width, my proportions
just work for what I do.
Now that I have to do
shorter events,
I really have to modify
the technique that I have
to suit those events.
So this part here
is called the catch,
um, and then all the way
to the catch is the recovery,
so I'm actually usually there
when I start to catch, here.
So my other arm's above the water,
which is just...
Like, you can see how
it's kind of a bit odd.
So I have to now initiate here, which
I've never done before,
when this hand's coming
under water there,
which is right for sprinting,
and so you kind of throw yourself
over the top.
Maybe it's true that
this whole thing
will take longer
than what I thought.
18 months of training might not be
enough to make the Olympic team.
Maybe what I'm attempting
is impossible.
And the winner of Australia's most
popular male Olympian
is Ian Thorpe.
The Young Australian of the Year is
Ian Thorpe.
Well, the Telstra
People's Choice Award this year
goes to Ian Thorpe.
He makes swimming look so easy.
His name is Thorpe, the greatest
that we've probably ever seen.
He's a very good
media performer.
I think he's astute,
he gets the media.
The intrigue and the mystique
and the aura
had made it, 'We want more.
We want more.'
We noticed the BRW quoted
Michael and Suzie and Ian
all being around the $1.2,
$1.3 million-dollar earnings
in sponsorships.
One of the biggest criticisms
from the Australian public
has been sometimes
Ian's been too manufactured
and too silky-smooth
in his delivery.
- Goodnight, Angels.
- Goodnight, Thorpey.
I think I grew up
a little bit too quick.
When I was 15, that was on the
street, that level of recognition
and, you know,
people wanting to have a chat,
you know, autographs, photos.
I don't know
if I was ever excited about it.
If I was out in public, more often
than not, I'd have my head down
to try and avoid
people recognising me.
Adoring fans
are nothing new for Ian Thorpe,
but he says two admirers
carried the devotion too far.
With the actions that these people
actually took place,
the police were concerned, and when
the police were concerned,
you know, I was also concerned.
He's not a bloke's bloke.
He's not your cardboard
cut-out Aussie bloke.
How's the girl scene going?
Um, I wish it was going a little bit
better than what it is.
Um, I don't have a girlfriend
at the moment, unfortunately.
I would love to be able
to meet a girl
and to actually have to introduce
myself and say what I do.
What about marriage and kids?
I wanna be married with 2.3 kids.
Do you sleep with men or women?
With women.
You sleep with women?
The first time I heard about it,
I think I was 15.
Like, that early.
A lot of gay men
were putting up posters of me
and at the time, I was, like, 'Eh,
it's a complement.'
It's just that being asked
about it, it just gets annoying.
I think, in some ways,
people feel threatened by me,
because they can't define
exactly what I am.
While he has the world
at his feet,
life at the top
is taking its toll.
I'm very paranoid
about everything now.
You know, I didn't like that I'm
being talked about all the time,
that my life, you know,
became a soap opera.
I false-started at the Olympic trials
and was disqualified
from my favourite event.
My close friend Craig Stevens
had to give me his place
so that I could race.
The decision I've made is to stand
aside in the 400m freestyle
in the hope that I'll get to see Ian
swim that race
on the final of day one
of the Olympic Games.
I felt an immense amount
of pressure
to have to win this race now,
not for myself, but, you know,
for Craig, for the team,
um, and, you know,
it made it difficult.
Clean start.
Thorpe up very quickly here,
into his stroke.
Hackett with him.
I didn't hate swimming.
I hated what was around swimming.
I hated that everyone kind of assumed
that I just went
and that it was easy for me,
and it's not.
It's tough.
Hasn't lost for six years.
Hackett's very close.
Really close.
Closing. Thorpe and Hackett,
it's gonna be a touch.
They hit it. Thorpe's got it.
What a race!
Hackett, second,
and third, Keller.
One, two for Australia.
And Thorpe wins his fourth
gold medal at the Olympic Games
and joins Murray Rose,
Betty Cuthbert and Dawn Frazer
as the only Australians in all
sports in 108 years to do it.
Ian Thorpe,
he is a true champion.
Look at the emotion.
He knows how hard the last year has
been for him,
and he's done it.
An absolute legend.
I've never seen him like this.
I mean, he's in tears, basically.
Pronto. Come stai?
E, bene, bene.
Uh, OK. Perfetto.
OK, ciao.
Yeah, I'm not going crazy.
So why are you here
in Switzerland?
Um, because of the coach.
Simple as that.
If you can manage the balance,
you'll do minimal strokes.
Gennadi's a Russian-Australian...
..who is, I think, probably...
Well, I think he is the best sprint
coach in the world.
When you put yourself on a wave,
like to surfing...
To catch this,
you must relax your hand
and put yourself on the wave.
Oh, I'm competitive.
I won't let anyone beat me
in training anymore.
I've become very competitive.
I'll do a set and Gennadi
will bring in,
like, rounds of swimmers
to try and beat me.
It'll be, like, bring in,
you know, some fresh youngster
that'll try and race against me.
Which, you know, this has been good
for me to get back,
you know, feeling competitive.
Sport is not training.
Sport is racing.
And a lot of people say,
'You must train hard,
you must do this,
you must do this.'
You must race well,
but what you need to do for this,
it's your own business.
What do you think?
Perhaps the best swimming
isn't done in racing.
When I've been here,
it's the first time I've felt like
I'm the best swimmer in the world
and it's, like, yeah, ok, so maybe
that should be a fleeting thought,
because you aren't training
like that yet, so...
But, you know,
I did feel like that.
It was, like, 'Hmm... This is
all becoming very interesting.'
Why do you feel like that?
Because, potentially, I am.
It's how I used to feel.
So it was kind of crazy and...
You know, so now there's a balance
between feeling that way
and also then being able to train to
justify feeling like that.
How are you feeling now
on a personal level?
For most of the time,
I feel what it was like to be
and to act like an athlete.
It freaks everyone else out
that I can not speak to people
for months.
I don't want to hear small talk.
I don't have time for it.
I mean, you have to,
all of a sudden,
become pretty much the most selfish
people on the planet
to do this.
You just suck everyone's
energy out of them
just for your performance,
and you have to.
No, no.
And, you know, I'm enjoying,
you know,
the lifestyle of training.
Thank you.
How much?
Where is it?
This is the difference
between now and four years ago.
I wasn't enjoying it then.
I'm actually going to discontinue my
professional swimming career.
It was a tough decision,
but one that I'm very pleased
that I've made,
and I've been working towards
this decision for quite some time.
You know,
if kids ask their parents,
'Why isn't Thorpey swimming?'
I want them to say,
'Because he's done everything
he wanted to do in this sport.'
My refusal to continue to swim
was more of a reflection
around that ownership of me
and me not being able
to live my life how I wanted to.
When I decided to stop, you know, I
was really happy with that.
I was really pleased that
I'd been able to step away
from something that, you know,
was really making me miserable.
I realised that there were
so many other things out there
and I was restricting myself
to one thing.
Waking up to the endless kind
of opportunity and possibility.
Being able to dance,
that's what I'd like to have.
I didn't want anything to do with
the sport whatsoever,
I didn't watch it,
didn't really socialise with
most of the swimmers,
and spent my time avoiding it.
You know, I also lived in a place
where people didn't know
what I did.
It was nice to forget about it
for a while.
It's huge going from doing
the entire training thing
to being able to do
whatever you want.
I used to do between 30 and 40 hours
of training a week,
what's normal.
And someone'll go,
'Oh, I do 5 x 20 minutes a week,'
and so you go,
'It doesn't seem like much.
Oh, yeah, I'll start doing that
or maybe a little bit more,'
so you do that just to stay fit,
and you go, 'Well,
this isn't keeping me fit.'
Even your perception of what a
serving size of a meal should be,
it's so out of whack
because of what you've been eating
and how you've been
trying to feel yourself,
you just can't get your head around
The allegations
surfaced in a French newspaper
that last May,
abnormal testosterone levels
were found
in Ian Thorpe's sample.
My results
were basically leaked.
I had an irregular reading,
so the test's still negative,
and, basically,
it was reported that, you know,
I'd returned a positive sample.
Retired swimming champ Ian
is reportedly being bailed out
by Westpac boss Gail Kelly
after being hit hard
by the Global Financial Crisis.
After quitting
lucrative sponsorships
to focus on university studies,
the Olympic legend was forced
to admit to a cashflow problem.
When you compete
as an elite athlete,
you expect to be the best
at everything.
You expect it of yourself.
As things became
a little bit more mundane,
you know, I was down,
and then, you know, realised,
'I'm feeling down a lot.'
Um, you know,
I call it 'the dark times',
but it's, uh...
Looking back, it's kind of having
these momentary periods
of depression.
What do you have on your
business card these days?
Um... unemployed.
You seem to be pretty busy.
Yeah, I am.
So is Ian wishing he was
competing at the Games
now he is in Beijing?
I'm being asked that question
so many times
that I'm starting to think,
'Maybe I should,
because everyone else thinks
that I should,' so...
But, you know, I'm happy
being here as a supporter.
Ian, go away.
In having some time away
and realising that I can do
a lot of other things,
I realised that
I don't feel as though
I should shut out
this side of my life,
the swimming side of what I do.
The swimming world
is set to welcome back
one of the greatest of all time.
Ian Thorpe is back
and he'll swim
the 100m individual medley
here in Singapore tomorrow,
the butterfly on Saturday...
I have to kind of remind myself,
I'm the guy who hasn't swum
for five years.
I forget it from time to time
and I think some other people here
might forget that as well.
This is kind of the starting point
and it will be good that I finally
have an opportunity to race.
It's a day before his first
competition in six years.
It's like
the first day of school.
2,099 days since I last raced.
It's a long...
Who counted that?
Someone that's quite strange.
How hard are you on yourself
at the moment?
Oh, look, I'm very hard on myself,
but, you know, I'm fair.
I mean,
do you think about the guys
that you've gotta beat?
It's actually
the other way around.
They have to beat me,
not me beat them.
I suppose with his swimming,
he's just here really
opening the first door
to the passageway of competition.
Really, it's about competing,
not about specificity here,
and he'll swim freestyle
when he's ready.
What will be
the overriding emotion
when you stand up
behind those blocks tomorrow
for the first time in a
competitive race for five years.
Um, I'm going with nerves...
It's quite strange because, um,
I feel like this
has taken forever to come
but also that the time's flown.
I like how I feel in that kind of
pressure-cooker environment
when all of the hard work
that you've done
comes to a pinhead,
that you have to do this
right then and there.
What's your overriding
sense of emotion?
Um, relief. Yeah.
Thanks, guys.
Good on you, mate.
Oh, Chris,
huge relief for the Thorpedo,
considering he's been out of major
competition for 5.5 years.
It was a pretty solid effort,
in particular in the freestyle leg
in the individual medley.
That will give him a lot of
confidence into the future.
He was sixth-fastest qualifier...
But you swum so well.
No, I didn't think
it was very good.
And now you're here
and then we go to Beijing.
Beijing, next tournament.
Uh, no, it's OK.
It wasn't that it was bad,
it's just that
I expected to go faster.
And I didn't swim very good.
Didn't you?
Did you watch your back?
Yeah. I was, like, 'Oh,
you made a lot of mistakes there.'
Oh, really?
And I didn't go hard
when I was supposed to.
And then I got slammed
by my coach...
Did you?
..at training.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I got slammed this afternoon... which
is kinda funny.
OK, one, two, three.
That's creepy.
- Um...
- Christian will know.
Christian's got the end.
I think I did market food here.
Yeah, actually, I did.
I had scorpion here.
Yeah, you can have scorpion.
What's scorpion taste like?
Yeah, it's crunchy,
but it tastes like, um...
Can you remember
Barbecue Twisties?
That's exactly
what it tastes like.
Did you,
when you came here to commentate
and watch the Beijing Olympics,
did you ever think,
'One day, I'm gonna be swimming in
the pool again?'
That's the funniest thing.
Last time I was here, I was like,
'Who'd wanna do this?'
I like, most of all,
his personality.
He has so many
great achievements,
but yet he's so humble.
And he's really nice to everyone
and when he's talking to you,
it's like
you're the whole universe.
He's really sincere.
It's funny
how young and inappropriate
you're allowed to be.
It really suits me.
And it's great
that it's for everyone
who doesn't want to grow up.
So I kind of, like...
You know, I fitted in really well
when I started here.
I'm, like, 'Wow,
everyone's just like me.'
It's quite a young team,
so I've been meeting
some of the new people,
I'm not so out-of-era for them, but
it's odd,
that they were alive
when they saw things that I did.
Do you start to get shaky
or nervous or...?
I don't do nervous anymore.
I'm over it.
There's a point where you get to
where anxiety
is actually good for you,
but if you're getting into
the nervous point,
that 'seriously nervous',
it's, you know,
it's not helpful to performance.
Take your mark.
If you qualify ninth and tenth,
you actually have to go
to the marshalling area
in case someone doesn't turn up.
There's a slight possibility
that you can swim.
When you're ninth and tenth,
the last thing you want to do
is to be waiting at
the marshalling area to swim,
'cause you already feel,
like, 'I missed out.'
Yeah, you can go.
Leave all the other swimmers
and go,
'Oh, well, I don't get to swim,'
and you walk off and go,
'Yep, still feel like a loser.'
Ian Thorpe's comeback
to competitive swimming
continues to flounder.
At a World Cup short course meet
in Beijing,
Thorpe failed to qualify
for the 100m freestyle final.
I realise what I have to work on and
it's not things in training.
It's things around racing.
Are you still aiming for
the Olympics next year?
Uh, yes.
Thanks, guys.
Thank you.
Thanks, guys.
Yeah, right.
- Oh.
- Oh.
I use my hand? OK.
So I've gone from a position
where every swim before that,
no-one's beaten me
to going, 'Well,
where do you start off?'
Like, what's a starting point
to get back to that point?
I don't know what it is
and no-one else does.
So when will you know if
you're in the Australian squad?
That's all the trials, yeah?
Yeah. Yeah.
March 15.
15? That's quick.
Should be the end of March.
That's in two weeks.
What is it?
17 weeks now or something?
Don't talk like that.
Your, um, prime minister,
Helen Clark,
did she used to play rugby?
Yeah. She was the captain.
OK. She looks like it.
Oh, don't you be trash-mouthing my
Prime Minister
when your one's a...
She's not... Oh, come on. Come on.
What, a little bit of a makeover?
Helen Clarke?
A little bit of foundation and, you
know, dulling down the rang
does not make a hottie.
She's not hot, but Helen Clark,
she's been bashed.
OK, if you had to,
which one would you kiss?
- Nah.
- Who would you rather?
If you had to. Tongue-y.
Oh, I feel ill.
Clark or Gillard?
Yeah, I'd do Julia.
Would you?
Yeah, for shizzle.
As long as she doesn't speak.
I'm not kicking it.
Pull it.
You pull it.
Come on.
Come on.
I'm not pulling your bags.
Come on.
Please welcome
the Olympic athletes.
Give your hands, please.
And, you know, this was probably
a pivotal stepping stone for me
in my preparation
for the Olympic Games.
I performed easy fast.
You're able to swim fast,
but it feels easy.
And although
you're not going easy,
you feel effortless,
and it's when your stroke,
it just falls into place,
and, you know,
it's kind of what we train for,
what we try and feel
and experience in swimming.
It's when you get the rhythm
and the balance right,
everything just falls into place.
I think it was
a significant race for him.
Like, 50.2 in Beijing
was a good starting point,
but, you know, it was essential,
really, he swam under 50.
In this series,
his strength has always been
the back half of his races,
so to see that coming back
into vogue is a good thing.
Take your marks.
Two months
before Olympic trials,
Ian Thorpe's admitted he's
struggling for the first time
after missing the final
of the 100m freestyle
at the Victorian titles today.
But Thorpe says his first race
in Australia in six years
was not a setback,
despite finishing 13th overall.
Having a pretty major problem
with anxiety before I swim.
I've had anxiety
before I've raced,
but it's always been
a really healthy, good amount,
the kind of amount
that makes you fire,
not the amount that makes you
feel like you can't breathe.
Um, so when I dive
in the pool now,
I feel like I can't breathe
and I think I'm drowning,
um, which, when you're a swimmer
is kind of really not good.
Take your mark.
Once I stand on the blocks,
even more,
and then when I hit the water, it's
the worst.
I feel like I don't have
enough air in my lungs
when I dive into the water
for at least, um,
for at least 30 seconds.
Yeah, I'm physically breathing,
um, like, it's, like,
crazy-people talk,
because I can watch the video
and see myself breathing,
but I feel like I'm not breathing.
Take your mark.
For me, that's... I feel like
I'm in the surf getting...
..smashed around.
This is how I feel in the water.
And then... then rational thought
comes into my head.
This is why it's about 30 seconds,
'Well, you've made it 30 seconds and
you're not dead,
you haven't drowned.'
And so then, I'm like,
'Oh, so I can breathe,'
but then I'm behind
and I'm copping everyone's wash
and then I've actually got
a physical reason
for why I can't breathe,
is because
I'm getting water from everywhere.
For him, he's just gotta
back himself in.
You know, historically,
he's been able to do
virtually whatever he's wanted to,
in swimming terms,
and I would think,
um, he'll, uh...
He'll go back to that and,
you know, that's what he's got.
That's his background.
Better start.
Uh, there were
two different parts.
The second start's better,
but the breakout's better
on the first one.
So your hands
are just a little bit...
They're there,
but they're just a bit loose,
so it's really just...
Yeah, you've got an angle there.
Since being back in Australia,
I went and had
every kind of test done,
to make sure
it wasn't something physical,
'cause I thought it may have been,
you know,
something wrong with my chest.
Like, that's how it feels.
Gennadi doesn't understand it,
so my coach doesn't understand
why I wouldn't be able to...
..because he's, you know,
'You're a champion.
What... I don't understand.'
He doesn't understand.
Same position compared to..
That 'up'...
And then, if you up,
you look forward and down and...
Did you want to
have a go at four?
No, let's stick it on five
for now.
Let's get the dive part right,
and then we'll play around
with that.
- I've spoken to a psychologist.
- Yeah?
Um, I think...
..it's a fear of...
..reverting back to the swimmer that
I used to be.
Um, of getting this all right
and ending up being
really successful at swimming
and being miserable in my sport.
I'm scared of going back to that and
I don't want to.
Thank you for this food and
thank you in Jesus's name. Amen.
Mum can swim, but Dad can't.
When we were kids,
we were floating
thinking that he was swimming.
Dad shows us how to
get under the waves
and, like, bodysurf
and all of these things.
But we were learning, thinking he was
swimming, and he's standing,
because we can't touch the bottom.
Yeah, and so we never knew
that he couldn't swim.
When you're frightened of water,
it takes a lot of convincing to be
comfortable with it.
But they used to
wake us at 4:30.
You woke us,
because we used to say,
if they wanted to go swimming, they
had to wake us.
We weren't waking them
to go swimming,
so they had the alarm
and they'd come in and say...
You'd hear the alarm go, and they
would be the ones that got it.
And then Christina got so annoyed,
'cause I kept on putting my alarm,
like, further and further forward
before hers, 'cause she wanted
to sit in the front seat.
And it became ridiculous
how early we started getting up.
But I'd sit in the front seat
for five minutes like this,
just cruising.
Billing, that was the pool.
And now it's here.
I know. It's bizarre.
Isn't that bizarre?
It's flown.
It literally has flown.
And, yeah, it's kind of...
It's do-or-die time.
And here we are.
That's 18 months.
Yeah, which is an incredible short
amount of time,
but you've done it.
Yeah. I haven't done it yet.
Ahead of the Olympic
selection trials in Adelaide,
the Daily Telegraph is wondering if
Thorpey has been foxing
during his preparations
for his comeback.
I just don't think
someone of his calibre would.
He knows what he's capable of.
He's spent his whole career dealing
with expectations,
both his own and the country's.
I reckon he knows
what he's doing.
I'm getting excited.
One of the great comebacks
if he is.
It would be one of the great sport
stories of all time.
Let's hope he is.
So do you think
Thorpey is foxing?
As he said... as
he said in the press conference,
he feels like a poker player
and if he was foxing, he'd
be a pretty good poker player.
But, um, I don't...
It's not really in the making
of the swimmer to be foxing
and to lie to the media.
You kind of want to go out there and
test yourself
against the clock
at any opportunity you have.
It's flattering. It's so not true.
I wish it was true.
Everyone thinks
I'm better than I am.
I'm not competitive either.
No, you're pretty competitive.
I don't think I am.
Yes, you are.
No, I'm not.
I don't think
I'm that competitive.
So are you gonna shave down?
Oh, shit.
I forgot about that.
You know, the artistic element of
swimming is more appealing to me
than, you know,
just that very physical side.
And, you know, it's the same as
a few other sports
that it... it...
..is kind of an expression
of what your body can do.
I received this one yesterday
that is so defining and so moving
and I'd really love for him
to have this in his hands...
..before he races tomorrow.
It's from Eileen,
a lady up in Tennant Creek,
an Indigenous leader up
in Tennant Creek.
'Dear Little Brother,
my success drives me,
my failure strengthens me.
They were saying that
there is times
when you have plenty
no-good talk coming
and your heart gets heavy
and your feet get heavy.
So let your failures strengthen you,
embrace them,
keep them close to you, because you
will be stronger for them.
Be strong and only listen inside.
Pretty special, huh?
It's very special.
Massive crowd on hand
here, as you would expect,
and so many of them
have come to see Ian Thorpe.
He's a five-time Olympic
gold medallist.
Just over a year ago,
Thorpey said he was coming back to
the sport.
Since then, mind you,
it's been busy.
There's been rumour, there's
been innuendo, speculation.
'Is he going fast?' 'Is he
going slow?' 'Is he foxing?'
Well, we are about to find out.
And they're away.
Ian Thorpe in lane 7
in this heat.
Goes down to second lap,
he is in front.
This is a great sign.
25.15 at the first 50-metre mark.
Ian Thorpe is in front and he's in
front by a good body length,
which is exactly what
he is after.
Here comes Napoleon.
Napoleon and McKeon.
Both throwing out the challenge,
particularly Ryan Napoleon.
But Thorpe's still in front.
Remember, it's all about times
at this stage.
He's backed off.
So Thorpe has eased off.
And it is a great time.
He's finished third.
And that time, Nicole,
will be good enough
to get him into the semifinal.
..in particular,
over the first 100 metres.
It's the first time
he's gone under 1.50
since beginning this comeback.
A lot of people are saying
the swimmers
that are making the comebacks,
they're having trouble
with their evening swim after...
Like, backing up
after a morning swim.
To me, I'm more concerned about the
semifinal than the final.
I don't actually know until
I stand up now.
Um, I don't know if I'll be OK
or if I'll just have a meltdown.
Take your mark.
Ian Thorpe's away pretty well.
He's, uh, about equal leader.
Come on!
If anything now,
Thorpe has hit the front.
His stroke looks amazing.
Very smooth, isn't it?
It really looks smooth.
It looks efficient.
He's sitting high in the water.
Not panicking at the moment.
Ian's starting to drop back
a little bit. Third turn.
So D'orsogna turns first
and Thorpe has dropped back
and dropped back quite badly.
Ian Thorpe is about
fifth or sixth position.
He's in big trouble.
He is.
He is in really big trouble,
the Thorpedo.
Napoleon, first. Monk, second -
a big swim from him.
And Ian Thorpe,
what is his time, Nicole?
1.49.91. So the same
as he went this morning.
He's finished in sixth place,
so he will not make the final.
Well, the harsh reality
is Ian Thorpe's Olympic dream
could be over right here,
right now.
He still has the 100 metres,
but that's gonna be even harder.
The more time I've had to digest,
you know,
the more disappointed I am.
Where to now for Ian Thorpe?
I have... I have the 100m now,
and I have to get myself back up.
I think to see him like that
and knowing
what he's been through
and how much he's...
he's put himself out there,
it's really... it's really...
It's hard to see, but I'm...
..I guess, like his mum said,
I'm really proud.
Get his signature.
The fairytale
didn't go to script,
but to his fans,
Thorpedo was still a hero.
Kids, what do you think
of this guy?
- Awesome.
- Pretty cool.
He's awesome.
It is what it is.
Actually, I felt worse, um...
I felt worse two days ago,
but I don't think it's...
..I don't think it's hit me yet.
So you're not
going to the Olympics.
Thanks for the reminder.
It's alright.
I know, it's kind of... It's...
It's kind of... It's tough
to kind of comprehend.
Um, I kind of worked so hard for the
last kind of 18 months,
um, to do this.
I kind of...
I haven't really thought what...
..what to do now, what to do next.
I didn't prepare for this,
I didn't plan for this.
Um, so...
Yeah, I have to work out
what to... what to do next,
what's gonna motivate me next.
And, yeah, it's kind of...
it's kind of strange, um...
..'cause, you know,
I had the desire to do this,
I wanted to do this
and I've trained to do this,
and, you know, it hasn't
kind of rolled my way this time.
So, yeah, I kind of...
Yeah, I kind of have to work out what
the next chapter will be.
Looks like your mum's dog.
It was always gonna be
a struggle with time,
um, and I'd be happy to keep swimming
just to get to that time
and then I'm happy to walk away.
How are you feeling
coming off the back of
the Australian trials?
Oh, I'm good now.
Like, I'm kind of spending time with
friends and family
and being able to chill out
and start training again.
So I think this is probably the worst
I've ever swum in my career,
but for some reason,
I'm enjoying swimming again,
and I'm cool with that.
Do you think
you're still finding yourself,
working out who you are?
Yeah. I hope so.
I hope so, 'cause I think if
you've worked out who you are,
you may as well be dead.