Sydney: Swimming Australia says it would welcome struggling heroes Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett as mentors of the national swim team after they overcome their personal challenges.
Ian Thorpe. Pic/Getty Images.
Dual Olympic gold medallists Susie O’Neill and Michael Klim were on Thursday announced as mentors to the national team’s leadership group, and SA wants to include Thorpe and Hackett in its programme.
Five-time Olympic gold medallist Thorpe is battling depression, while Olympic and world champion distance swimmer Hackett has undergone treatment in the US for an alleged addiction to sleeping pills.
Fitting the bill
SA high performance director Michael Scott said the country’s elite swimmers could learn important lessons about life after swimming from Thorpe and Hackett.
“We will embrace a number of our past champions in a variety of activities — certainly Grant and Ian fit that bill,” Scott said late on Thursday. “They have their personal challenges and we expect that they need some space right now. But when the time is right for them then we would certainly like to sit down and talk to them.”