Ian Thorpe: Take your marks, get set, GO-LD COAST

We Are Gold Coast | June 4, 2021

Ian Thorpe and Cody Simpson at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

Hot on the heels of hosting the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships, the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre had two very special guests recently – five-time Olympic gold medallist, Ian Thorpe, and home-grown Tokyo 2020 contender, Cody Simpson.  

As the athletes geared up for media interviews ahead of the launch of an upcoming Amazon Prime docuseries titled ‘Head Above Water,’ we caught up with Australia’s most successful Olympian of all time, Ian Thorpe, for a short and sharp snapshot of his time spent on the GC.

Athletes at a Gold Coast aquatic facility


Q: You’re on the Gold Coast to launch the new doco Head Above Water, how does it feel to be back where all the Commonwealth Games action took place?

Ian: It’s so great to be back at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre – this pool has so many fantastic memories.


Q: What did you enjoy most about being a commentator at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games?

Ian: Having the best seats in the house! And being able to give an insight into the athlete’s performances.



Ian Thorpe soaking up the rays at The Darling pool at The Star Gold Coast during the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.
Credit: IG @ianthorpe

The Darling pool, The Star Gold Coast
Credit: IG: @kristensuii

Commentating at the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.
Credit: IG @ianthorpe


Q: Did you get time to explore the Gold Coast at all? If so, what parts of the Gold Coast did you enjoy the most?

Ian: I didn’t have a lot of time to go out unfortunately, but I had dinner at Nineteen at The Star – it was amazing.


Q: We may be biased, but we think our beaches are some of the most beautiful in world. What are your thoughts – do you have a favourite Gold Coast beach?

Ian: Burleigh Heads is my favourite.



Burleigh Heads beach

Rick Shores and Burleigh Pavilion located on Burleigh Heads beach


Q: How does the open-air Gold Coast Aquatic Centre compare to other facilities you have visited around the world?

Ian: I used to train in an outdoor pool and I prefer them. I won my first world championships at a pool that looked very similar to this one.

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games


Q: Is there a particular swimming event you are most excited about seeing at the Olympic Games?

Ian: No, because then I’d be choosing favourites!


Q: When you’re not watching the swimming, what’s your go-to Olympic sport to watch?

Ian: Hockey, water polo and gymnastics.


Q: Are you surprised Swimming Australia has relocated their Olympic hopefuls to the Gold Coast (in light of the recent VIC lockdowns)?

Ian: No. I’m not surprised. I think making a decisive choice has meant that athletes know they won’t get caught out in lock down circumstances. Also, the combinations of multiple swimming squads training together may even improve swimming performances.



Head Above Water premieres on June 4, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and select countries around the world. The global premiere will be later in 2021 on Prime Video.


Amazon Prime Video launches new Australian Original docuseries ‘Head Above Water’ featuring Ian Thorpe, Cody Simpson, Kyle Chalmers and Bronte Campbell June 4, 2021.


Keep up to date with all things Gold Coast and subscribe here.