Thorpe ‘prepared to fail’ at next year’s Games
LEGENDARY Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe claims he is mentally prepared to fail at next year’s London Games, considering the timeframe of his comeback to the sport.
The 29-year-old won five Olympic gold medals but will return to competition at the Singapore World Cup next year after five years away from the pool.
“I’m more concerned about being really successful because that’s what I’m not prepared for,” said the Australian.
“I’m more comfortable knowing that, chances are, I’m going to fail at this. I’ve become comfortable with that.
“I’m more prepared to struggle through this whole thing and just enjoy it because I’ve never experienced that in my career.
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“I don’t think anyone’s done this before with the timeframe that I have. Realistically, it’s probably too short.
“For some reason, in my mind, this is helping me. It’s making it harder so I’m more focused.”
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Rather than target a medal, Thorpe has set other personal goals.
“My goal at the start - and this will remain my goal through the Olympics - was to be able to swim faster than I used to,” he added.
“If at any stage I didn’t think I could do that, I don’t know if I’d continue.
“Medals are good but, for us in swimming, times are better because you have very little control over who wins.
“The best way to win the nicer-coloured medals is to make sure your process is a lot better than everyone else’s. Simple as that.
“I also don’t think you should just limit yourself to trying to achieve this result, because this is what people perceive as being the ultimate.
“Push yourself beyond that and take that attitude of not just trying to win by one tenth of a second when you can win by two seconds. Take it that far. That’s athletic accomplishment, not just what you get to wear around your neck.”