2021 Swammy Awards: Viral Video of the Year, Dean Boxall Goes Wild

To see all of our 2021 Swammy Awards, click here.


After the one-year delay, the swimming calendar in 2021 was centered around the Tokyo Olympic Games, and fittingly, the sport’s most viral video of the year came during the competition.

With the world watching, Australian Ariarne Titmus and American Katie Ledecky had an epic head-to-head battle in the final of the women’s 400 freestyle during the second finals session from the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with Titmus ultimately getting the better of her rival to win her first career Olympic gold medal.

After Titmus’ monumental victory, TV cameras panned over to her coach, Dean Boxall, who was overjoyed, to say the least, by the result.

Boxall essentially lost his mind after watching his swimmer dethrone the most dominant champion in the sport, and the clip of him celebrating post-race quickly made its way across the internet.

Note: Multiple clips included in case certain readers are unable to view some due to geo-restrictions.

Australian artist Alex Trevarthen even immortalized Boxall’s iconic moment with an oil painting.


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A post shared by Alex Trevarthen (@big.al.art)

Boxall wasn’t done there, as Titmus won a second gold at the Games in the women’s 200 free, eliciting another, although more measured, celebration from the coach.


  • Olympic mania even resulted in a Caeleb Dressel VR feature on TikTok:


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A post shared by SwimSwam (@swimswamnews)

  • And this unbelievably cool video shot with a waterproof drone from SwimSwam photographer Jack Spitser:


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A post shared by SwimSwam (@swimswamnews)

  • Caeleb Dressel Celebrates with his Family After Qualifying for Tokyo 
    • This was our most-liked video on Instagram in 2021
  • Sierra Schmidt Goes Viral for her Dance Moves
    • The Michigan swim star was already well-known in the swimming community for her moves, which gained traction on TikTok after being featured during Olympic Trials.

She’s back at again 👏👏 alcohol free next please #twice #alcoholfree #kpop #once #Olympics #cheerup #sierraschmidt #fyp

♬ original sound – 냠냠냠

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Mr Piano
1 year ago

When’s the baby due?

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
1 year ago


He Said What?
1 year ago

Nothing is going to top Laurie Lawrence after Duncan Armstrong won the 200 free in 1988. Laurie is being interviewed immediately afterwards by an unsuspecting television commentator. What does Laurie do? He slaps the poor guy in the face a few times because he can’t control his emotions…..AND…..in the process, ended up breaking the guys jaw!

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Where’s the Greg Meehan reaction video from the same race?

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Is there one?

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  USA
1 year ago

there must be footage of his reaction but don’t think there’s a video

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I prefer the full Australian version, where Boxall is quite measured and concerned and stationary as Titmus trails by nearly a body length, then visibly becomes more interested and nervous as she closes the gap at the end of the third 100, to the growing confidence on the penultimate 50, and finally unleashed euphoria at the end. I’m not sure the longer version is readily available. I was surprised not to see it here. This is one video that includes it: https://youtu.be/OWsjxDXq2BI?t=272

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Thanks for posting this. Excellent build up to the finish.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Must be pretty cool to be a coach having prepped an athlete to do something you thought/hoped she was capable of deliver exactly as planned on the biggest stage against the distance GOAT.

Circle swim
1 year ago

This video makes me laugh everytime I watch it. The coach’s celebration, the somewhat frightened usher and the reaction of the commentators… priceless!

1 year ago

It really couldn’t be anytthing else.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

I really wanted it to be this one, but it was actually from 2020 (though I didn’t see it until 2021).


Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

It’s not even guys, it’s girls. w t f m8

Reply to  ReneDescartes
1 year ago

It’s clearly Eamon Sulivan swimming the 100 free finals at the 2008 Olympics, educate yourself… casual!

Reply to  Olympian
1 year ago

I spoke too soon, I bow down before you oh holy one.

1 year ago

Dean’s family’s reaction to him winning Gold in the 200 Free at Tokyo should’ve been an honourable mention.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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