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Swimming legend makes a splash at Taroona High

STUDENTS at Taroona High School were given a taste of Olympic success when five-time swimming gold medalist and Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe visited to deliver the Olympians Unleashed program.

The program aims to improve students’ ability to set goals, overcome challenges and build self-esteem by having past, present and aspiring Olympians talk about their experiences.

The former swimming champion answered questions about his career and time competing in the Olympics, teaching the students how to apply these skills to real life situations.

“It’s teaching people what to do, how you prepare, what you do when it comes to being under pressure and being able to deliver to get the result that you want,” Mr Thorpe said.

“It’s having targets and goals, being disciplined enough to be able to pursue those, believing in what you can do and what you can create, and being inspired by what you do day in and day out.”

Mr Thorpe, who was competing at the age of 15, said it was an age to learn to be comfortable in yourself.

“The message is to believe in what you can create, that’s the foundation and then it’s working diligently to be able to achieve that,” he said.

“No one can accomplish that just by thinking it – you have to put it into action as well.”

Year nine student Adelle Massom said it was amazing to hear about the former athlete’s commitment to competing at a high level.

“I think it’s just amazing and a real inspiration for us to show that if you work hard and with persistence you can make your dream in a couple of years and really achieve your goals,” she said.

“He showed how everyone can have their own passion and when you have passions you can make dreams, and anyone can follow their dreams with a bit of persistence and resilience.”

Adelle said Mr Thorpe’s message was something she was going to consider in regards to her music career.

“I love music, I’ve been doing it since I was young so it shows I can keep going with it even once I get to college and things get busy – that’s something I’d like to be doing my whole life,” she said.

Following the visit to Taroona High School, Mr Thorpe made a public appearance at the Optus store in the Elizabeth Street Mall before delivering a keynote address at the Mind Games luncheon, of which Optus was a sponsor.

Caption: From left, Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe with Taroona High School students Noah Kamprad and Adelle Massom.

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