Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Today, the illustrious Ian Thorpe made his comeback to swimming. Thorpe, formerly the undisputed greatest swimmer in the Commonwealth (and by default, the world) once dazzled us with his middle distance freestyle virtuosity. Then a large eared american blowhard named Michael Phelps, tempered only by the coaching genius of Bob Bowman, unseated the king. Thorpe retired to a life of tabloid speculation over his waist line and sexuality. As fun as that sounds, he decided to make a comeback, if for no other reason than to get people talking about his swimming for a little. His first meet was today, and I am already declaring his comeback a total failure.
What's that you say? I am rushing to judgment? No sir, I'm not even crawling to judgment. The result is plane for all to see. Ian Thorpe swam the 100 IM and suffered the ignominious fate of a 7th place finish. 7th place! It's a result that can only raise questions about whether or not Thorpe was doping during his halcyon days. Those of you who were there, like this humble registrar of swimming data, remember that Thorpe made his international breakthrough at the 1998 World Championships, the same meet where China's Zeng Qiliang won silver in the 100 breaststroke. In 1994 the Chinese swimming team befouled the sport with their blatant disregard for doping regulations. Therefore Thorpe cannot be above suspicion.
While it is true that Thorpe was never really an IM specialist, nor was sprinting his namesake for any part of his career, his coach Gennadi Touretski claimed earlier this year that he had the greatest butterfly in the world. Since Gennadi Touretski coached the greatest athlete ever in the universe Alex Popov, he is incapable of lying. Therefore, Thorpe is a total failure, in that even with the greatest butterfly in the world he could not beat Omar Pinzon in 100 IM.
Thorpe should consider conceding tomorrows 100 butterfly before he brings more shame to his once great career. Unfortunately, he probably won't, and he will continue torturing us with his poor performances for the rest of this olympic year. A sad, sad tragedy of misfortune.