Great Olympian

Recently the 24-year-old swimmer has been plagued by a series of illnesses and injuries, including a bout of glandular fever earlier this year.

"I'm very proud of this decision I have made today"

Ian Thorpe

He has not competed in a major international swimming event since the Athens Olympics in 2004, where he won gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Thorpe became a sensation on the international swimming scene as a teenager, and is now regarded as one of the greatest middle-distance swimmers of all time.

He smashed 13 world records between 1999 and 2002 and is Australia's greatest-ever Olympian, winning five gold medals, 3 silvers and one bronze.

At the Sydney Olympics he became the first man in history to win medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events at a single games.

After the Athens Games he announced he would be taking a break from international competition claiming "mental fatigue" and citing the constant grind of training.