Australia’s greatest swimmer Ian Thorpe has gone home after staying in a rehab for depression and alcohol abuse. The 31-year-old Olympic gold medallist known as Thorpedo has reportedly checked out at a Sydney hospital on Friday morning.
The Daily Telegraph first reported the story of Thorpe’s hospital admission. He was injured in a fall earlier in the week, and has under medical supervision since Wednesday night.
According to the latest report, Thorpe has gone home on Friday morning. It isn’t clear if he is to continue receiving medical help at home.
His manager denied that Thorpe was in rehab, and was only in hospital for a shoulder operation. His team is expected to release a formal statement about the matter.
Thorpe was 14 when he became the youngest male to represent Australia at the 1998 Perth World Championships. He was also the youngest ever individual male to win World Champion after his victory in the 400 metre freestyle.
He won a total of 11 gold World Championship medals, earning him the title of Australian swimmer of the year from 1999 to 2003.
He announced his retirement in 2006 and attempted a comeback in 2012, but was unsuccessful.
His autobiography, which was released in 2013, revealed that he had considered suicide when he was suffering from depression. This led him to drink huge quantities of alcohol.
Meanwhile, fellow swimming champion, Kieren Perkins, said that he was “not surprised” that Thorpe sought professional help. Thousands of athletes also face similar condition, struggling to cope after retiring from sports.
“I was not surprised at all, I think it happens far more than we know, it’s just that Ian is famous and getting attention,” he was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying.
“To get to that point with Ian is really quite sad but I’m also happy for him he’s getting the right help that he needs.”