Swimming Australia congratulates Ian Thorpe on his Australia Day honours, after the Olympic champion was recognised for his achievements both in and out of the pool.
‘Thorpey’, whose five Olympic gold medals is the greatest tally of any Australian Olympian, was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his significant service to youth and Indigenous education through charitable initiatives and to swimming.
At just 15 years old Thorpe grabbed world attention when he won the 1998 world 400m freestyle title in Perth, becoming youngest world champion in history. Upon competing at his first Olympics in 2000, he broke 10 world records, four of which came within four days at 1999 Pan Pacific titles.
After competing at two Olympics (Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004), the 36-year-old has five gold, three silver and one bronze medal to his name, not to mention taking home countless medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand AO was quick to congratulate Thorpe on his achievement and said he was an extremely deserving recipient.
“Ian Thorpe is a phenomena,” he said.
“His swimming record as such is unsurpassed, but just as importantly, his work through his foundation, particularly within the Indigenous world of education, is making a real difference – he’s a mentor to many young people.
“Swimming Australia congratulates Ian on receiving the Member of the Order of Australia Award.”
AOC President John Coates AC also congratulated Thorpe and highlighted that his great achievements in the pool have been complemented by an enormous desire to contribute in other areas.
“Ian is an exemplar of Olympic values. He works tirelessly through his charity for Indigenous welfare,” Coates said.
“He has courageously highlighted the challenges of depression through his autobiography and in more recent times took a prominent position in the successful campaign that led to same-sex marriage legislation being passed by our Federal Parliament.
“Ian has been a wonderful mentor to a new generation of Olympians and his ongoing support for the Australian Olympic movement means a great deal to us."
Meanwhile, Ian Hanson, media expert and father of Olympian Brooke Hanson, was also recognised in the Australia Day awards, receiving an OAM for his services to media and sport. Swimming Australia congratulates 'Hanso' as well!