Can the Outback bounce back? - WSMV News 4

Can the Outback bounce back? Making the case for Australia as a swimming powerhouse

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Swimmers from Australia won 10 medals at the 2012 London Olympics – way less than their typical haul – and none were individual golds. No one on the team wants to predict a medal count for the 2016 Olympics, but they boast several versatile world champions leading the way for the team. Look for Australia to make waves in the pool in Rio to dethrone the Americans as the top medal collectors.

Rowdy Gaines, NBC’s swimming analyst, speaking in May 

[The Australians] might be the best Olympic team in history this summer, overall, men and women, at least on paper. 19 medals is the prediction right now, but anything can happen. They also went into the world championships last summer and did not swim quite up to par with what they had on paper, but they’re going to be very good.

Cate Campbell, three-time Australian Olympic swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist

Not everyone can go out there and win an Olympic gold medal. It’s impossible. We’re focusing on personal bests and getting the best out of yourself and celebrating each achievement for what it is. Whether that’s wininng an Olympic gold medal or that’s qualifying for an Olympic final or doing a personal best in the heats and making it through to the semifinals. We’re really recognizing everyone’s performances for what they are and giving acknowledgement there. We’ve done more than enough to leave [2012] in the past. I mean, I think that 2012 got blown out of proportion very much. We are definitely in a better place.


Bronte Campbell, 2012 Australian Olympian and two-time world champion

We don’t mention gold. That’s something that the whole swim team does. We don’t put predictions on anybody. We don’t put medal predictions, we don’t say “we expect to win this many gold, or this many silver or this many bronze.” That’s not what we’re about. It’s very hard to win a gold medal. If you do your lifetime best and someone else happens to win, someone happens to get their hand on that wall 0.01 seconds in front of you but you’ve done your best, it doesn’t make you a failure.

Cam McEvoy, 2015 World silver medalist in the 100m freestyle

I actually don’t really know what the people on the team have as a goal or an outcome or how they want to approach it. And I think that’s a good thing because this team that we have right now,  there is a lot of really good swimmers in there. But no one really talks about what they want to achieve or the outcome. They like talking about the process and thinking about the actual swimming. But no one like talking about the outcomes and if they want to get a medal and or do this or that with a record or whatever it may be. And I think that’s a good thing because it abolishes any team mentality that could be falsely made up leading into the Olympics. Where it could be detrimental to anyone for anything. I think that they are all going to be going into the Olympics with the viewpoint of just wanting to swim and experience being in the Olympic pool and being at the Olympics. I think just having that fundamental viewpoint of just having that one goal of wanting to enjoy it, is going to override any type of problem that might happen with ranking times or anything else that would come up.


Jacco Verhaeren, Australian swim team head coach

One of the biggest things we’ve changed is that we went from a rules based team to a values based team. We’re speaking about common sense. We’re not speaking about ‘you can’t do this, or you can’t do that’, but really talking to the athletes as mature athletes, which they are.

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