A two-time Olympian, Ian Thorpe OAM is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He won five Olympic Games gold medals, the most won by any Australian and, in 2001, became the first person to have won six gold medals in one World Championships. Thorpe won eleven World Championship golds, the highest number of any swimmer of his time.

Thorpe was named World Swimmer of the Year four times by Swimming World magazine, and was the Australian Swimmer of the Year from 1999 to 2003.  At the age of 14, Thorpe became the youngest male to represent Australia, and his victory in the 400m freestyle a few months later at the 1998 Perth World Championships made him the youngest individual male World Champion. After that victory, Thorpe dominated the 400m freestyle, winning the event at every Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships until the 2004 Olympics.

Thorpe was an NSWIS Scholarship holder from 1997 until 2007. He was a finalist for the NSWIS Athlete of the Year Award from 1998 until 2004, and took out the title in each of these years except 2003. The athlete has an award named after him at the annual NSWIS Awards Dinner – the Ian Thorpe Outstanding Achievement Award – which recognises athletes that have overcome adversity.

Aside from 13 individual long-course world records, Thorpe anchored five Australian relay teams in world record performances including a spectacular performance in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. His wins in the 200m and 400m and his bronze in the 100m freestyle in Athens have made him the first person to have won medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle.

In winning the 400m freestyle gold in Athens, Thorpe defended his Sydney 2000 result, and then won the race dubbed “the race of the century” against Pieter van den Hoogenband (Netherlands) and Michael Phelps (USA) in the 200m freestyle.

In 2007, Thorpe was inducted into the NSWIS Most Outstanding.

Olympic medals

5 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze

Years on NSWIS scholarship

1997 - 2007