One of Australian Swimming’s G.O.A.Ts, Ian Thorpe, has reportedly checked into a Sydney rehabilitation centre to combat alcohol abuse and depression. According to the AAP, the five-time Olympic gold medallist and erstwhile Golden Boy returned to Sydney from his penthouse aquatic centre home in the Swiss Alps over the Christmas period and was injured in a fall earlier this week, necessitating his being admitted to hospital on Wednesday night.
In an autobiography released last year, Thorpe – who sadly in recent years has become something of a whipping boy for an Australian media contingent who couldn’t look past his interests or career pursuits extraneous to swimming – revealed his struggle with alcohol abuse and depression exacerbated by a failed comeback at the London Olympics in 2012: “Not even my family is aware that I’ve spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression.”
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a close friend of Thorpe said last night that they were thinking of the amphibious legend following “an accident at home [where] he slipped and hurt himself. We’re hoping he’s going to be OK and make a full recovery.”
UPDATE: Ian Thorpe’s management has this afternoon denied that he’s in rehab seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and depression, saying instead that he’s simply in hospital recovering from a shoulder operation for which he was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night. “Ian is not in rehab,” a representative from SEL management said. “Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder and is pleased to let his friends and fans know that he is now out of hospital and on the mend.”
Good to know.
Support and information is available for those requiring assistance pertaining to mental health issues online at Lifeline, beyondblue, Reach Out Australia, Headspace and Sane.
You can also phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, beyondblue on 1300 22 4642 or Mensline on 1300 789 978.
AAP via SMH
Photo: Graham Denholm via Getty