RETIRED. Ian Thorpe, 24, fashion-conscious, philanthropic Australian freestyle swimmer who dominated the 400-m race, winning nine Olympic medals—five of them gold—as well as a record 11 world titles; in an announcement to a stunned press corps in Sydney. Nicknamed the Thorpedo, he explained that, though still at the top of his game, he had met his swimming goals and wanted to begin the rest of his life. "You can swim lap after lap, staring at a black line, and all of a sudden you look up and see what's around," he said. "That's what it feels like to...

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