At The End Of The Day, Olympic Spirit Prevails Among Competitors

Loretta Race
by Loretta Race 29

August 12th, 2016 News

Through six days of swimming competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, we’ve experienced all points on the emotional spectrum. From pure elation rooted in the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, winning his 22nd gold medal, to disappointing outcomes from some of our favorite stars, such as Missy Franklin, we’ve seen it all with still more competition yet to come.

Outside of the pool, Rio has also had its share of controversy, highlighted by American Lilly King’s ‘finger wag’ toward Russian Yulia Efimova to Aussie Mack Horton’s ‘drug cheat’ comment directed at China’s Sun Yang.

At the end of the day, however, the true Olympic spirit prevails through the highs and lows, giving us all reason to keep the fire burning. When Aussie World Record Holder Cate Campbell faltered on Thursday night in the women’s 100m freestyle race, finishing 6th instead of her expected 1st, it took no time at all for foreign competitors to come to her side and show support.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen helped the battle-beaten Campbell out of the pool in a gesture that epitomizes the struggles, hardships and trials all athletes must endure in the quest for Olympic glory. Some win, some don’t. Yet, the picture conveys that the athletes are all part of the bigger picture of ‘faster, stronger, higher’ and, in the end, they respect each other’s pursuit of that ultimate Olympic achievement.

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That’s a wonderful picture. Thought experiment: can you picture Phelps and Cseh helping Chad le Clos out of the pool after the 200 fly? I like that the women athletes can be so publically supportive of each other without losing any competitive fire.


No, but I don’t see that as an apple-to-apples comparison because of gender norms and also because he was sorta a douche. Do you think anyone (non-Russian) would be willing to do that for Efimova?

Since I’m posting anyway, another example: Hosszu offered support to Missy at the side of the pool after Missy missed finals in the 200 back last night.

Definitely Not Florent Manaudou

Shadow boxing is just as bad, if not worse than doping. Le Clos should have been banned for that.


Cockiness is not worse than doping, not by any measure

You and what army?

I think he’s making fun of how ILIKEPSYCH compared a doper with Chad le Clos.


I think phelps would just push him back in the pool 🙂

Joe Bagodonuts

The only problem with your cynical post is that it is undercut by what ACTUALLY happened after the race when Michael shook hands with him – even though he might have been well within his rights to not do so following Chad’s laughable efforts to try to get into his head. I had to laugh at the ready-room footage as it became apparent as to who was in whose head! If you think that females can’t be “less-than-charitable” at times, I suspect we have a few folks out there who could provide ample evidence to the contrary. Don’t see it as a gender issue.


you need a dictionary to look up “cynical.” I certainly don’t suggest that Phelps or Le Clos or men in general are poor sports, but in my experience, culture tends to inhibit outward displays between men and encourages chest-puffing bravado.


lol, true. I know it’s partly the personalities but I was commenting on the gender norms — I appreciate the female version, which has room for blunt opinions (see Lilly King) but also a nice ability to separate competition from personal animus.


The best out of humans often comes when defeat , turmoil , set ups come to play – thats what i love about the sport too . Its not all about winning or losing – its about learning how to Be authentic / vulnerable in any situations . Well done girls , thats the spirit of this amazing sport and these Olympics .

Pau Hana

Personally I’d love to see Cate rebound in the 50. Her relay and prelim swims showed she’s in shape to swim well, I think she just took out the 100 too quick and ran out of gas. Can’t really take the 50 out too quick. 🙂

Lane Four

I agree. She will be Olympic champion in the 50. She started her career with a bronze in the 50 and this would be a wonderful ending to her Rio journey. I am pulling for her all the way. (And Bronte as well.)


I won’t be surprised to see world record broken by Cate Campbell. Her yesterday race proved that it is very possible. I even think that she may focused mostly on 50m race last month and was good at that. And that may misled her to start that fast at 100.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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