Olympic great Ian Thorpe has revealed he can no longer swim, having lost his famous freestyle stroke after shoulder replacement surgery.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist, 34, said he had come to terms with what his body was now able to do following the surgery two years ago.
“When I first retired all those years ago I did not want anything to do with it (swimming), I did not want to go near a pool,” Thorpe, the Specsavers eye health ambassador said.
“When I retired for the second time I wanted to keep swimming, but I had a shoulder replacement. I had lots of complications with my shoulder and it is a pretty serious operation, not a reconstruction, a replacement, so I can’t swim.
“I had more than two years of shoulder problems and then I got an infection in hospital, so they had to remove the reconstruction they did.
“Then I was on antibiotics for 12 months with a completely fractured shoulder before they could operate on it, so I was happy that I got the shoulder that I have and that I can do as much as I can with it.
“I was told by the doctor before the surgery I would never be able to swim again. I can swim enough to be able to catch a wave, but the stroke it allows me to do is quite horrible and it kind of crunches over, so it is not like I can get into a pool and do some laps.”
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