Sydney: Ian Thorpe says he has no plans to remove himself from public life despite his recent brush with stalkers.
The multi-world swimming record holder was in the headlines this week after heading to court to get a restraining order against two stalkers, but says he plans to be more accessible as a result.
“Anything that I am faced with that I see as being a negative thing, it actually really changes the attitude that I take and I make myself more accessible,” Thorpe said on Friday. “Otherwise you take for granted what you have. I enjoy the lifestyle that I lead and everything that I am able to do in my life.”
Thorpe enjoys a celebrity profile away from the pool, and is feted by fans in Japan.
The 200m, 400m and 800m world record holder testified in court this week against two obsessed fans, who had stalked the 20-year-old for the past year. “I think everyone sees the most glamorous side of what I am doing,” he said.
“When it comes to swimming everyone sees the racing that I do and the reports. That accounts for one per cent of what I do with swimming. Most of it is the gruelling yards that I have to do leading up to that, that accounts for 99 per cent of it.
“Most people don’t understand or see that side of my life.
The same goes for the more public side of my life. “People see all the wonderful things that I do that are quite high-profile, they are quite glamorous. You see all the big things and glamorous things... Yet you don’t see some of the more difficult things. Things that I spend most of my time and life actually doing.”
Meanwhile, Thorpe announced on Friday that he would swim against Pieter Van Den Hoogenband, in the 50m event at next month’s World Cup shortcourse meet in Melbourne.