Thorpe’s comeback announcement praised and panned on Twitter

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SYDNEY - Swimming champion Ian Thorpe’s announcement Wednesday that he will aim to compete in the London 2012 Olympics has been both praised and widely panned on social networking sites like Twitter.

“Ian Thorpe” rocketed up into Twitter’s top 10 trending topics worldwide as the 28-year-old held a press conference in Sydney to confirm what many had long suspected - that he was returning to professional swimming.

According to The Age, many gushed at the news of the return of Australia’s most successful Olympian, who will target the relays as well as the 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle events.

“Am I one of the few that are excited by Ian Thorpe making a comeback. Thorpie is a deadset legend!,” tweeted Pete O’Connor.

“Ian Thorpe is coming back!!! Michael Phelps who?” tweeted gizzieqt.

But the Thorpedo also copped flak for the way his return to the pool was revealed - at a press conference heavily branded by Virgin Blue, attended by hostesses who walked around the conference with microphones for journalists.

During the conference, Thorpe quashed rumours his comeback was motivated by financial reasons, but many on Twitter immediately branded the announcement a marketing exercise.

“Thorpe announced his comeback. All I could see or hear was #virginblue ambush marketing at it’s finest!,” Celeste Magnifico tweeted.

Age reader Sarah was also not convinced.

“Surely I am not the only person to think that this press conference is vomit inducing self indulgence,” she wrote.

“Just get in the pool and train, no one is interested in this PR circus,” she added.

The conference got off to a bad start when a Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti stumbled when introducing Thorpe, saying he was “going to win a lot of gold medals for Qantas”.

Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, also came under fire on social networking sites for his appearance. (ANI)

Filed under: Olympic Games

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