Became the youngest world champion in swimming history when he won the long-course gold medal in the 400 metres freestyle in Perth during 1998 and finished 1999 as world number one in both the 200m and 400m freestyle.
He sustained his momentum in 2000, winning three golds at the Sydney Olympics - in the 400m freestyle, the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x200m freestyle relay - and setting or sharing in world records in all three events.
‘The Thorpedo’, as Thorpe is affectionately known Down Under, was named the outstanding athlete of last year’s ninth swimming world championships in Japan after winning a record six world titles. Won more gold medals in Fukuoka during July than any swimmer at a single meet in the history of the world championships, breaking his own world records to win the 200 metres, 400 metres and 800 metres individual freestyle finals.
Also anchored Australia to victory in each of the three men's relays. Has now set 16 individual world records since he became the youngest male world champion of all time at the 1998 world championships and is seen by many as the greatest swimmer of all time.