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.
This pic sums up the respect @catecamp competitors have for her. She'll bounce back #OneTeam #Rio2016 #swimming pic.twitter.com/TsVOxAhsEB
— Rob Woodhouse (@RobWoodhouseTLA) August 12, 2016