It’s that time again, the time when the Australian swim team goes off to the Olympics and – to the general consternation of the nation – totally fails to dominate. Our swimmers pick up some silvers, some bronzes and maybe a few golds, and the press fills up with questions about where it’s all gone so wrong.
The thing that everyone fails to remember is that this is the Olympic Games, not the Commonwealth Games. In the Commonwealth Games we slaughter everyone, because, frankly, we’re the only people in the Commonwealth who can actually swim. At the Olympics we face the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese and a horde of upstart, wildcard nations that luck out by stumbling over a single brilliant swimmer. Faced with all that competition we actually punch well above our weight, but there’s still hand wringing and gnashing of teeth every time we win a silver (or, the horror! a bronze) rather than a gold.
To those who are upset at our team’s performance in the pool – or elsewhere – I say shut up and listen to some TISM.