Ian Thorpe spotted in wheelchair in concerning scenes at Australian Olympic swimming trials

The Aussie swimming legend has been working in commentary for Channel 9.

Aussie swimming legend Ian Thorpe was spotted in a wheelchair at the Olympic selection trials in Brisbane this week after he reportedly suffered an injury while filming a reality TV show. Channel 7 captured images of Thorpe being wheeled around at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, where he is commentating for Channel 9.

According to Channel 7, the 41-year-old was injured while taking part in Celebrity Amazing Race, in which he competed with childhood friend Christian Miranda. Thorpe has pushed on with his broadcast duties for the Olympic trials, but has needed the aid of a wheelchair to get in and out of the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

Ian Thorpe in a wheelchair at the Olympic swimming trials in Brisbane.
Ian Thorpe was spotted in a wheelchair at the Olympic swimming trials in Brisbane. Image: Channel 7/Getty

7News reporter Chris Reason said: “We’re told Ian Thorpe is completely OK. But apparently the injury was a serious and painful one."

Ian Thorpe.
Ian Thorpe has needed the aid of a wheelchair in Brisbane. Image: Channel 7

Thorpe is one of Australia's greatest athletes and won five gold medals at the Olympics. He is now a popular commentator and often works on the broadcast during big swimming meets.

But not even Thorpe managed to achieve the rare feat of going to four Olympic Games as an athlete - a record which Cameron McEvoy set on Wednesday night. The 30-year-old McEvoy won the 50m freestyle at the selection trials - booking his ticket to Paris for what will be his fourth Olympic Games. He is now the first Australian male swimmer to achieve that feat.

The amazing achievement comes after McEvoy stepped away from his swimming career before returning with a revolutionary new training regime. Instead of endless hours in the pool, McEvoy does rock-climbing and calisthenics while tinkering on techniques he's keeping close to his chest.

Cameron McEvoy.
Cameron McEvoy reacts after winning in the 50m freestyle at the Olympic swimming trials. Image: Getty

"Eighteen months ago, my goal was just come back, give this new training approach a go and see what happens," he said after clocking 21.35 seconds to win on Wednesday night. "And if I can maybe go under 22 (seconds) again, I'd be over the moon with that. What I've done so far has just obliterated any expectations I had.

"What I'm most excited to try to get this (Olympics) done and then just compile what I have learnt and just push it out there into the public. I know there's a tremendous amount of swimmers who have been in my position, currently are in my position, who would want to learn from that, a lot of coaches want to learn from that. It can provide a lot of good to a lot of athletes who love the sport but they're not quite on the right path in terms of the the type of training and the philosophy."

McEvoy spilled some of his secrets on Wednesday night, revealing he mixes funky strength training outside of the pool with technical tweaks in the water. "The nature of my training is literally replicating race pace, race environments, weekly, year-round," he said.

"I have done probably close to 1000 dive-suited, race replications, since 18 months ago ... so by the time I get up and race, it's very second nature. I can try to switch off that cognitive side of my mind and just let everything flow."


McEvoy has improved his starts from 5.5 seconds to reach the 15m mark, to just 5.1. "So literally from a jump, a couple of underwater kicks and four strokes, I'm already almost half a second quicker, which is insane in a 50 freestyle," he said.

"The rest of it was just strength within the stroke - not brute strength ... just trying to load that up with as much weight as I can without destroying that technique. We have gone down a lot of rabbit holes in that sense and we have probably uncovered quite a few novel things for the sport which, again, we have kept close to ourselves. But we're keen to put it out there post-Paris."

with AAP