As for Ian Thorpe: For the
Common Wealth Commonwealth countries, Ian Thorpe is their swimmer. He hangs with both royalty and indigenous Australians. He is liked from the the upper class and down through to the struggling underclasses. He will be racing Eamon Sullivan next week:
From the Herald Sun:
Thorpe officially starts his comeback in a World Cup meet in Singapore tomorrow by competing in the 100m individual medley.
Sullivan may also race Thorpe in the 100m freestyle in the final World Cup leg in Tokyo next week.
"I had not even thought about it," Sullivan said, with a laugh. "I did not even know he was doing it (freestyle). I thought he was just doing IMs and all weird events."
"Look, I am looking forward to it but at this point of the preparation it isn't about competitors at all. It is about how I am racing and the stuff I am doing. It is more about practice than thinking about beating people.
"It is a completely different ball game than when you are coming up to Olympic trials. Especially where I am at at the moment it is not in my mindset to worry about other people."
UPDATE: Who is more ripped: Thorpe or Lochte? - A video interview with Thorpe with an amazing silhouette of his physique.