The youngest world champion of swimming had been the first swimmer to grab 6 gold medals in one World Championship. Ian is perhaps the most successful Australian participant in the Olympic.

He is the man who proved that a swimmer could touch the pool’s finishing end in all 100m, 200m, and 400m. With his extreme determination, he overcame his allergic tendency to chlorine and proved that if one really aspires with the fullest effort, then nothing can prohibit from prospering. As the Tornado takes away everything through its swerving hurls Ian has been nicknamed as Thorpedo who had taken almost all gold medals in one World Championship.

The success as a swimmer without putting the head down in the water had enabled him to stay high head with enough pecuniary strength. Though stepping away little early had cost him, but still, this champion swimmer has earned enough to accumulate a high net worth $2 million dollars.

Early life

The fantastic swimmer who had made each Australian proud was born as Ian James Thorpe on 13th October 1982 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is the only son of Ken Thorpe and Margaret Thorpe who has a daughter Christina.

At the time of his birth, Ian was already 1 ft 11 inches in height with 4.1 kg weight. Ian father was a promising cricketer at his time, had topped even by surpassing Bob Simpson the Australian captain in seasons batting average left cricket early for paternal pressure. Margaret was efficient in A-grade netball. But he followed his elder sister Christina in the pool.

Soon Ian got sidelined as he was allergic to chlorine. He waited until the age of seven when he learned to swim with the head high and gradually made significant improvement with his tall stature.

In 1994 he impressed all of the Australian Primary School Championship. In 1995 he got into East Hills Boys Technology High School for the secondary education and started taking coaching from Doug Frost. The young boy reached 6 feet and learned to dominate any pool.

After winning two bronze in his debut Australian Age Championship he bagged all the gold medals in New South Wales Age Championship in 1997. In 1997 itself Ian made his first international entry in the Pan Pacific Championship that held in Japan and knocked the swimming world that a champion has arrived. Only at the tender age of 14, he finished second in the 400m freestyle.


He was a real challenge for any swimmer in the 200m and 400m category. In 1998 Ian got his first World Championship. The young Swimmer crossed Tom Malchow the American swimmer in the 200m relay and by the end of his leg gave Australia a 3-second advantage.

The real blast came in the 400m freestyle when he finished before his teammate Hackett and got the status of the youngest contestant to win in the World Championship. In 1999 he bettered the world record in the 400m freestyle by two seconds. Now all eyes are set on the performance of Ian and the followers are waiting for a Thorpedo.

He did not turn down the expectations of his fans and began with a gold medal in 400m freestyle followed by a win in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Quite astonishingly instead of record timing in preliminary came second after Pieter Hoogenband of Netherland in his preferred 200m freestyle. The pain was relieved after the gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

He went to Japan in 2001 in the World Championship to participate in seven individual events. He retrieved the 200m freestyle from Hoogenband, creating yet another world record. Japan gifted the champion swimmer six gold and Ian pleased the Japanese spectators with four world records. In 2002 Pan Pacific and the Commonwealth Ian got the medals, but the followers and Frost can realize that Ian is not excelling further.

Consequently, Ian took shelter under Tracey Menzies. The scenario does not change in Barcelona 2003 World Championship, and Ian even withdrew from 200m making life easier for Michael Phelps. But champions do always have other plans, and in Athens, he got ahead of all in 200m. Soon after, he called an early retirement, putting off some supreme competition what the world could have watched. Presently Ian is guiding the next generation Australian hope to create more Olympians.

Personal life

During his glory days in the World, Championship Ian got highly involved with the Children’s Cancer Institute in the memory of his friend.

In Sydney Pan Pacific after setting the world record, he got a reward of $25 thousand dollars which he contributed to a charity. “This is me,” his autobiography would definitely make the world aware of this champion swimmer. Ryan Channing has been a very special individual in Ian’s life.

Quick summary:

Full Name: Ian James Thorpe

Date of Birth: 13th October 1982

Birth Place: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Age: 36 Years

Profession: Former Swimmer

Height: 1.96m / 6 Feet 5 Inches

Weight: 229 lb / 104 Kg

Net worth: $2 Million