Aussie legend Ian Thorpe, who cut through water like a torpedo and won five Olympic swimming gold medals, may lose his left arm due to infection. According to reports in the Australian media, the 31-year old was in intensive care in a Sydney hospital with serious infection.
Media reported that Thorpe contracted the infection after surgery at a hospital near his home in the Swiss town of Ronco sopra Ascona and was now in intensive care in Sydney. The former swimmer's close friends feared he could lose his left arm.
In February this year, Thorpe's father revealed that the swimmer, nicknamed Thorpedo, was battling depression.
Thorpe sought help in early 2014 after being found disoriented after having taken a combination of antidepressants and medication for a shoulder injury. He was subsequently sent for rehabilitation programme.
Thorpe was the first person to have been named Swimming World Swimmer of the Year four times. He was the Australian swimmer of the year from 1999 to 2003. His achievements made him one of Australia's most popular athletes, and he was recognised as the Young Australian of the Year in 2000.
Thorpe has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any Australian, and with three gold and two silver medals, was the most successful athlete at the 2000 Summer Olympics. At the 2001 World Aquatics Championships, he became the first person to win six gold medals in one world meet.
After retiring in 2006 due to a lack of motivation, Thorpe made an ill-fated comeback in 2011 when he failed to make the Australian team for the 2012 London Olympics.
(with agency inputs)