Today we honour a man who is not only a supreme athlete and one of the finest exponents of his sport, but must have the greatest nickname of any competitive celebrity: Ian Thorpe AKA ‘The Thorpedo’. I mean, which came first? The great moniker or the ability to swim really fast? I’m pretty sure that some games teacher somewhere spotted that ‘Thorpe’ sounded like ‘Torp’ and made him do extra lengths until nominative determinism occurred.
Amongst his plethora of outstanding aquatic achievements, which includes five Olympic gold medals, a four time Swimming World Swimmer of the Year and the Australian Swimmer of the Year from 1999 to 2003, it was on this day in 2001 that the World Aquatic Championships came to a close. Thorpey (as he is sometimes unimaginatively known) had won six gold medals in total, the first person to ever do so. And, at that moment, we could all truly say that he really was a ‘Thorpedo’.