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The day in numbers: Size 17

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(CNN) -- Australian swimmer Ian "Thorpedo" Thorpe, the country's greatest ever swimmer, announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 24 on Tuesday.

Size 17 -- Thorpe's shoe size. The swimmer came in for heavy criticism when he was a teenager because of his enormous "flipper-like" feet, with some claiming he had taken human growth hormones to make them grow so big. Thorpe said big feet and hands run in his family. His famed dolphin "kick" could blow away his opposition in a matter of a few mighty beats in the final lap of his races.

5 -- Number of Olympic gold medals Ian Thorpe has won -- three were won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and two at the Athens Games in 2004. He also has three silver Olympic medals and one bronze to his name.

17 -- Age Thorpe was when he won his first Olympic gold medal.

10 -- Number of Commonwealth Games gold medals Thorpe won during his career, six of them in Manchester in 2002. Since 1998 he dominated the 400 meter freestyle, winning the event at every Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific championships until taking a post-2004 break.

11 -- World titles Thorpe amassed during his career -- the most world championship gold medals won by any swimmer. He is the only person to win six gold medals at a single world championship, at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

13 -- Number of world records broken by Thorpe between 1999-2002.

4.1 kilograms (9 pounds), 57.5 centimeters (22.6 inches) -- Recorded weight and length of Ian Thorpe when he was born on October 13, 1982. Thorpe possessed an imposing physique for a swimmer. At 1.95 meters (6.4 feet), he weighed about 90 kilograms (14 stone) in his prime.

15 -- Age at which Thorpe became the youngest men's world champion in swimming history by winning the 400 freestyle final at the 1998 world championship.

24 -- Retirement age of Ian Thorpe. Announcing he was quitting, Thorpe said breaking records "wasn't as inspiring as it should have been."

2:53 p.m. -- Time on Sunday afternoon at which Thorpe decided not to swim at next year's world championships in Melbourne and to end his pro swimming career. Thorpe said there was nothing significant about the minute -- but after years of checking the clock following each race, Thorpe could not resist the impulse to peek at the time at the moment he made up his mind.

$2.6 million -- Amount in U.S. dollars Thorpe reportedly earns from sponsorships each year. He cultivated a large and enthusiastic fan base in Japan for his talent and good looks. Thorpe featured widely in Japanese advertisements, including promoting a sports drink called "Thorpedo" after his nickname.

8 -- Age of Thorpe when he first met former coach Doug Frost, who guided him to eight world titles before their relationship ended in 2002. Frost said the swimmer had shown "incredible talent" by the age of 11.

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Thorpe possessed an imposing physique for a swimmer, as well as powerful size-17 feet.


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