Thorpe: "I am more nervous than I usually am"
Australian swimming icon Ian Thorpe revealed a little about his expectations at a press conference held today in Singapore in sight of the fifth leg of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup taking place from November 4-5. This will be the first competition for Thorpe since 2006. Here are some extracts:
"It's not going to be extraordinary and it's not going to be horrible. That's quite a vast range, so I expect to hit something in the middle there. I have to remind myself that I am a guy who hasn't swum for five years. I forget that sometimes and I think other people do as well. This is an important step for what I am trying to do next year. This is a starting point."
"I feel like this has taken forever to come, but also the time has flown, the time to prepare for a competition again. So it's mixed emotions the whole time. I don't think I would have been able to prepare any differently for this today. I think I was always going to feel this way and I realise for me, it's the last part of getting on with training and being a swimmer again."
"I think if we want to talk about rivalry, my biggest rival is time. I'm not the kind of person who races off other people. In competition, I'm not the person who gets pumped up to try to beat someone else. It doesn't motivate me. It's always going to be an issue around time."
"For me, getting up and racing against some people who swim better than I do, it's a good test and it will help me in training. It will help me to refamiliarise myself with racing and realise where my limitations are at the moment."
Ian Thorpe (AUS)
"In not doing freestyle, there's a lot of work I need to do on my freestyle, it's not race-ready yet, it's close and I think I'm swimming pretty well in freestyle. But I'm comfortable that I'm not doing it. I know what's happening at training and we will be able to do some freestyle pretty soon and it's something that I will be able to look forward to as well."
"I think I'd get just as much out of the fly or the IM as I would out of any freestyle at the moment. I know what I have been doing in training, so does my coach, and we're content with where I'm at at this moment."
"I am more nervous than I usually am, but I am excited as well. I was equally as excited as I was nervous but, as it's drawn a bit closer, I'm getting more nervous. I feel like once I have a few swims, that will dissipate and I will be able to get on with racing."
"I came to terms with failure when I started this. I looked at it and thought, you know what, chances are you are probably going to fail at this. I was comfortable with that fact and if you can become comfortable with that, you can actually accomplish anything and you kind of set yourself free to just get on with it, because that becomes a barrier for yourself and it still is the most likely outcome. And frankly, I don't care. I like what I'm doing, I like the training that I am doing, I love that I have this opportunity again, I am very grateful for that. In this entire process of training and now racing, it's been fantastic."
"I did the right thing in 2006, it was the right thing for me then, and it was the right thing for now. If I didn't have time away from the sport, I wouldn't have swum well and secondly, I think I would have been really bitter at this sport which I don't want to feel that way. The way I felt about swimming from then to now is a stark contrast. I needed that decision to help me do that now."
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