Sydney, Sept.25 : Former Australian swimming champion Ian Thorpe is putting the finishing touches to his work of art titled "My Pain, My Gain".
According to Fox Sports, the painting is likely to fetch between 7700 and 10,300 US dollars when it is offered to buyers at a Sotheby's Sport in Art auction in Hong Kong on October 5. The acrylic on canvas painting, measuring 2m by 4m, shows him powering through the water with tiny human figures all over him.
"When I was a kid I used to imagine within my body there were all these mini people and the people in my goggles were the control room," Thorpe said.
"They were kind of like lemmings and they used to power everything in my body. I was always whipping them to make them work harder. That was my form of visualisation."
Interestingly, Thorpe's coach Tracey Menzies was an art teacher at East Hills Boys Technology High, where Thorpe was a student.
When he was chosen for swim teams, Thorpe would often withdraw to his room to draw quietly, although he was never keen to show off his work, media director of the Australian swim team Ian Hanson said yesterday.
"He always had a talent," Hanson said.
My Pain, My Gain went on exhibition during the Beijing Olympics in the Adidas Sport in Art Exhibition, as well as other Chinese cities.
David Beckham was among six other sporting legends with work in the Artworks from Athletes series in the exhibition.
The series will be auctioned, with proceeds targeted for the Right to Play China charity, working to enhance the health and education of young people in China through sport.