Thorpe quits the pool deck By Andy Withers FOXSPORTS.com.au November 21, 2006 IAN Thorpe has announced his retirement from swimming, citing a lack of balance in his life as the reason for his decision. Thorpe walks away from the sport as Australia's most successful Olympian, with five gold medals, three silver and one bronze from the 2000 and 2004 Games in Sydney and Athens. "I have reached all the dizzying heights of this sport," Thorpe said. "I've also had setbacks. "I've been sick, I've had injuries." Thorpe said he started to reconsider his future during his recent training sojourn with Milton Nelms in Los Angeles. He said during that sojourn he had achieved the highest level of physical fitness he had ever experienced. But he said he had also become "mentally fit". "My mind also got fit," Thorpe said. "I started asking questions." In asking those questions, Thorpe said he had come to the conclusion that swimming was no longer the priority in his life - which had never before been the case - and thus he was comfortable with his subsequent decision to quit. Thorpe said he had initially decided to miss the national titles in Brisbane next month, and hence the world championships in Melbourne next year, for which the Queensland meet will double as selection trials, but he changed his mind at 2.52pm on Sunday afternoon. Thorpe said he did not know exactly why he had decided at that time to quit. Thorpe, 24, said he was "far too young" to be retiring, but he was excited about the future - whatever that held for him. "It's not the right time to be retiring, but it's my time," Thorpe said. Thorpe also ruled out the prospect of a future comeback. "I don't rule it out completely, I never rule anything out, but it's not going to happen," Thorpe said when asked if he would return to the pool deck at some time in the future."