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Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe became the youngest ever swimming world champion when he was just 15 years old and by the time he was 17 he was a triple Olympic champion.

His reputation, and Australia's slow start to Sydney 2000, meant he was under intense pressure to deliver.

But Thorpe rose to the occasion to win his country's first gold medal of their ""home"" Games in the 400m Freestyle - and he did it in style with a new world record.

Later on the same day, Thorpe anchored the 4x100m Freestyle Relay team to gold as they inflicted a first ever Olympic defeat on the Americans in that event in a pulsating race.

Thorpe's third Sydney 2000 gold came in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, with silver in the 200m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley Relay making him the most successful athlete of the 2000 Olympics.

The ""Thorpedo"" took two more golds at Athens 2004 in the 200m and 400m Freestyle, adding silver in the 4x200m Freestyle and bronze in the 100m Freestyle,

Thorpe, who was allergic to chlorine when he was young and had to swim with this head out of water, won 11 golds at the World Championships, and is a 10-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist who set a staggering total of 14 individual world records during his illustrious career.

He took a break from swimming in 2005 and, after a troubled and injury-plagued spell back in the pool, retired in November 2006. A comeback attempt ultimately ended in failure to qualify for London 2012.

In 2000 Thorpe started the ""Ian Thorpe's Foundation for Youth,"" which raises funds for childhood illness research.