Exclusive: It’s an Olympic dream that international celebrity Cody Simpson will turn his back on LA and settle back in Australia.
And the pop prince is so serious about wearing green and gold in Paris in 2024 that he moved into Australia’s greatest Olympian to help.
It can be shown that Ian Thorpe agreed a year ago to join Simpson on his ambitious swim hunt – on one condition.
“I said I would only look after him if he kept singing and playing his instruments – he needs these things in his life,” said 38-year-old Thorpe.
At 24, Simpson is the same age as Thorpe when he retired from the sport in 2006 with five Olympic gold medals.
And like Thorpe, he’s a household name – only when accompanied by celebrities against the long black line.
“Honestly, I couldn’t understand why, so I asked to speak to him before agreeing to work with him. I just wanted to ask why,” Thorpe said.
“We make assumptions about people and my perception was completely imprecise … I didn’t know Cody at all.
“And he told me swimming was an unfinished business. It was a part of him that he missed when he chose music.
“He also said he was fully committed – and he’s shown me what he’s capable of since then.
“When the US 50-meter public pools closed, he was the guy who tied himself to a bungee cord and swam against the tension in every old pool he could find.”
After an eleven-year hiatus, Simpson is returning to the sport and will line up on the blocks for next month’s Adelaide Olympics in the 100-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle.
“This is not a random decision – I want to represent Australia in the Olympics,” said Simpson, who commands more than 10 million social media followers, and dated Miley Cyrus.
The Broadway performer, who moved home to the Gold Coast last month to train with famous trainer Michael Bohl, said he was here for the long term.
“I’ve lived in the US for way too long … I am ready to come back and have no plans to be back in the US anytime soon.
“The way Australia is now … is amazing, it’s a wonderful kind of haven. And the way the rest of the world is … it’s the perfect place for me to train .
“I absolutely love being where I am with my new trainer and the group I swim with and … I am very comfortable.
Although Simpson admitted being hit by the stars at the Australian Swimming Championships in April, he said Thorpe’s mentoring was invaluable.
“He (Thorpe) was the first real superstar of swimming and he’s teaching me how to deal with the pressures and the mental side of things,” he said.
“I would do this with every endeavor I undertook. It goes without saying that I should be like this … to hold myself accountable … but I also have a lot of fun helping with the pressure.
“And I don’t feel the pressure in everyday life so much because I have fun. I really love the sport and always have it.”
As for the physical alteration of Simpson’s already formidable body – he actually believes he has gone too far.
“You know … I think I need to lean out a bit. I started building too much muscle … you don’t have to be a weightlifter to be a swimmer.
The Australian swimming attempts can only be broadcast live on Amazon Prime Video from June 12th to 17th.
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