Sydney, Australia - Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, has announced he is returning to competitive swimming and is preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Nicknamed the "Thorpedo," Thorpe retired at the age of 24 in November 2006, citing swimming was no longer the priority it once was for him.
On Wednesday, he made it known in a press conference that "things have changed," even registering to be reinstated on the international drug-testing register.
"Today I can say that I am now 100 percent mentally and physically committed to competing at the Olympic trials and am doing all in my power to best prepare for them and beyond," Thorpe said.
The first person to win six gold medals in one world championships, in 2001 in Fukuoka, Thorpe has compiled 11 world titles.
At the 2000 Sydney Summer Games, Thorpe won gold medals in the 400-meter freestyle and a pair of relay gold's. He then won the 200- and 400-meter gold medals in Athens at the 2004 Olympics, his last international competitive showing.
"His return to the pool will be a huge bonus for our sport and particularly for the Australian swim team as we look to prepare for London 2012," Australia swimming head coach Leigh Nugent said.