Did you watch The Swimmer last night?

I did.  That I have long been interested in Ian Thorpe may be seen on my blogs over the past twelve years!

And then to go way back: Blogging the Noughties: 1 – 2000.


1. Being in Sydney for the Olympic Games. Although I only saw a few things "live" it was just great being in this city at that time. I apologise again to Ian Thorpe for allowing my little infatuation with that Dutchman to divert my support from Ian–and then Ian lost that race!

2. M’s return from overseas–even with the ups and downs since.

3. Yum Cha Sundays–especially one that led to the Chinese Gardens and all that has followed–a truly precious friendship. Thanks especially to the Dowager Empress, who inspired this regular event. Quote: "What’s Cantonese for sixteen screaming queens sitting in the corner?" (Note: We rarely screamed, and quite often there were non-queens present: but always there was at least one Empress.)

4. Doing a few useful things at work, summed up in a card I just received: "If you only know how much your support is valued, if you could still see how grateful I am, then you could feel the warmth of my ‘thanks’. Thank you for being such a great teacher! Your student Xiang. 19. 12. 00." :-)

5. The fact that the movement for reconciliation between Aboriginal Australians and the rest of us has gathered such momentum that even the Prime Minister has moved forward (a little).

6. Surviving the year more or less in one piece.

7. The success of PK’s "Gifting Tree" which generated much interest and a very satisfying quantity of food for the Luncheon Club Larder, a Sydney HIV/AIDS charity–especially in the context of PK’s own difficulties. He has been a good friend for many years. [Sadly, PK was unable to continue the Gifting Tree in 2001 and 2002.]

8. Making friends on the Internet–especially Johnny Wu (the first one!), Atakan Ali, and various others through ICQ and chat.

9. Starting and developing this website. Thanks to G. who made it possible in the first place, to Mitchell and others for their encouragement, and to the many people all over the world who have visited–especially those who have left comments on my guestbook or by email.

10. The privilege of continuing to live in Surry Hills, thereby breaking my record for being in one place. :-)

That last set conjures up a lot, I have to say, especially given something that has just arisen in M’s life but which I can’t now discuss.

But back to last night. I did enjoy the program on ABC at 7.30 and it confirms what we all know – that Ian Thorpe is one very interesting man – though not so young at 30 I guess.


And tonight, give the garbageous The Shire a flick. I will. Make sure you watch Australian Story instead. Your mind and spirit will be the better for that choice.


One thought on “Did you watch The Swimmer last night?

  1. D and I watched the Swimmer but as we are not very interested in sport we had to do a lot of fast forwarding!

    The program did not really in any meaningful way live up to its promo-promise to show us the private Ian Thorpe. We squirmed at the questions: “Do you sleep with women?” I know he’s damned if he addresses those issues and damned if he doesn’t but I think that topic would have been better left alone if that was the best that could be done.

    He has obviously led a remarkable life having been catapulted to stardom at such an early age. Missing so much school and leaving it early has also left its mark, I think: more than one clunky “what” as in “doing better than what they’re doing.”

    The attempted comeback looked at all times pretty Quixotic. As he travelled the world with a retinue of trainers etc we also wondered: who pays for all of this? But I bet the Sancho Panzas were all paid and handsomely too. It must be difficult for someone in his position to get honest advice he can trust.

    The detail about the drug-testing regime was interesting – that he has to nominate somewhere where he will be for an hour each day – presumably so they can swoop on him for a random test – for 9 months before he is permitted to compete. If he isn’t there just once, then the regime ramps up a notch (he didn’t say to what). This confirmed my belief that the whole thing is an unjustifiable imposition on athletes which has gained its own unstoppable momentum. It’s a bit like the security state. And who is paying for all of that?

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