Ian Thorpe, great swimmer in Australia
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Ian Thorpe, great swimmer in Australia

by Yasutaka
(Tokyo)

I’m sure that most Japanese remember the impact Ian Thorpe made in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He got 2 gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle, and 1 bronze medal in the 100m freestyle. This great record made him the only male to have won medals in the 100–200–400 combination.

There were two reasons why he was quite popular in Japan at that time. Firstly, he appeared in some Japanese TV shows and Japanese were favorably impressed by him. Secondly, we had a soft drink, THORPEDO, which had been named after his nickname. Actually, I used to drink this when I learned swimming.

He retired from swimming in 2006, but he came back in 2011. I hope he will break a new world record again.

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