Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer

Synopsis: A one hour documentary that takes an unflinching look at Australia's greatest Olympic athlete during his failed comeback attempt. It's a brutally honest portrait of a sporting icon coming to terms with his own human frailty. Part sporting documentary, part character study, this is Ian Thorpe as you've never seen him before.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Gregor Jordan
Actors: Ian Thorpe
57 min

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,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 May 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/ian_thorpe%3A_the_swimmer_10565>.

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