I used to freak rivals out: Swim legend Thorpe explains how he could just turn it on

Australia's Ian Thorpe punching the air after winning the 200m freestyle at the Athens Olympics in 2004. PHOTO: ST FILE
(From left) Spanish-Brazilian water polo player Felipe Perrone, Singaporean athletes Lee Kai Yang (water polo), Debbie Soh (artistic swimming) and Fong Kay Yian (diving), Malaysian diver Pandelela Rinong, Singaporean Nicholas Mahabir (swimming), Australian swim legend Ian Thorpe at the announcement of the World Aquatics Championships Singapore 2025. SPORT SINGAPORE
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That lumberjack-sized fellow at the Sports Hub, polite, articulate, you remember him, don’t you? The swimmer they called “genetics gone crazy”. The one whose feet became a national obsession. The kid who lit up the world in 2000.

Now, 23 years later Ian Thorpe is here and he’s giving The Straits Times a peek at his shining Olympic summer. The pressure he wore. The hope he carried. And the world we never saw.

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