Five-time Australian Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe cannot return to competition before November, but came to the Mare Nostrum 2011 meet in Monaco with coach Gennadi Tourtski from his training base at Tenero in Switzerland.
Asked how he sees his current capabilities compared with when he dominated the sport, he says “I’m physically not ready to know how well I can swim. I’m working on it. Towards the end of the year, I’ll be able to answer more directly.” And then he notes that swimmers have grown since then.
“The biggest difference is physically people have changed. People are bigger than they used to be because I used to be the biggest person and I realize people are bigger than me, and the men, the women, it’s a lot more power.”
Even so he insists there will always be more to swiming than power and physical strength alone.
“There’s a balance between being too muscular and being restricted by that. Swimming is swimming.”