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Olympic legend Ian Thorpe says he regrets quitting his swimming career

Olympic legend Ian Thorpe admits he regrets quitting his swimming career at 24 – as he reflects on his battle with mental health

Ian Thorpe retired from competitive swimming in 2006 at the age of 24 after breaking 22 world records and winning an abundance of medals.

But on Saturday, the five-time Olympic champion admitted he regrets quitting at such a young age, but he wasn’t able to deal with the enormous amount of pressure. 

‘We had a team psychologist but people felt that if we saw him, then we had an issue,’ the 37-year-old told The Daily Telegraph

Candid: Olympic legend Ian Thorpe (pictured) has admitted that he regrets quitting his swimming career at such a young age

‘When I saw him, he asked why I was doubting my ability and then gave me a pep talk. From there it was up to me.’

Ian went on to say that he believes he could competed in ‘another two Olympics’ at the time, if he didn’t have ‘pressures.’ 

The Olympic star battled crippling depression in his teens and he previously said it had led him to drink during the night in the lead-up to the 2004 Athens Olympics. 

Career: Ian retired from his swimming career at the age of 24 after breaking 22 world records and winning an abundance of medals. Pictured at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000

Career: Ian retired from his swimming career at the age of 24 after breaking 22 world records and winning an abundance of medals. Pictured at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000

After breaking 22 world records and winning an abundance of medals, he retired at the age of 24 – going from swimming and training ’30-40 hours a week’ to then trying to fill the void and find something he was equally as passionate about.

Earlier this year, Ian spoke to Daily Mail Australia about his battle with mental health.

The Olympic legend gushed that he’s very much ‘happy in his own skin’ after seeking help multiple times throughout his life. 

Pressure: The five-time Olympic champion said he regrets retiring at such a young age but he wasn't able to deal with the enormous amount of pressure

Pressure: The five-time Olympic champion said he regrets retiring at such a young age but he wasn’t able to deal with the enormous amount of pressure 

Content: Earlier this year, Ian spoke to Daily Mail Australia about his battle with mental health. The Olympic legend gushed that he's very much 'happy in his own skin' after seeking help multiple times throughout his life

Content: Earlier this year, Ian spoke to Daily Mail Australia about his battle with mental health. The Olympic legend gushed that he’s very much ‘happy in his own skin’ after seeking help multiple times throughout his life

‘For a number of years, I thought doctors were lying to me when they said it is something that is manageable,’ he said. 

‘I only ever aspired to be content in what I was doing, and then there was a point where I realised – you know what, I’m actually happy.’

‘I can still experience the emotions and the elation that I’m so happy in my own skin.’ 

Swimming legend: Thorpe announced his retirement from competitive swimming in November 2006. Pictured in the 2000 Sydney Olympics

Swimming legend: Thorpe announced his retirement from competitive swimming in November 2006. Pictured in the 2000 Sydney Olympics

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