On the same day two Australian media sources are reporting two very different views of the Australian National Swim Team.
In article published by the SBS reports that there has been an initial review of the Australian Sports Commission’s Winning Edge program and in that review Swimming Australia’s program is one that has seen great progress since the Olympics.
The ASC came out the Winning Edge program in November after conducting a thorough review of their country’s sporting organizations.
It was determined that after a very weak showing at the 2012 Olympics in London that the country needed to take a serious look at how they preparing and developing their athletes for success at the elite level.
The London Olympics showed a disturbing pattern of declining results:
2000 Olympics – 58 medals (16 gold, 25 silver, 17 bronze) and 4th in the medal standings
2004 Olympics – 50 medals (17 gold, 16 silver, 17 bronze) and 4th in the medal standings
2008 Olympics – 46 medals (14 gold, 15 silver, 17 bronze) and 6th in the medal standings
2012 Olympics – 35 medals (7 gold, 16 silver, 12 bronze) and 10th in the medal standings
The Australian swim team came home with one gold, six silver and three bronze.
The ASC decided that the country needed to make a significant shift in their direction if they were to achieve significantly better results.
One of the goals of the Winning Edge program is for Australia to have 20 world champions annually and so far in 2013 they have collected 18 world championship titles with the Kangaroos Rugby team having a good chance to win the 19th.
John Wylie, ASC Chairman praised the progress that Swimming Australia has made in 2013 both in and out of the pool. Wylie pointed to the three Australian swimmers; James Magnussen, Christian Sprenger and Cate Campbell who all came home from Barcelona with World Championship golds and the appointment of John Bertrand as the President of Swimming Australia as signs of progress.
But not everyone is singing the praises of the organization. The CourierMail also published an article today with the title ‘At a loss: finding Australia’s worst national team a task in defeatism’. This publication lumped the Olympic Swim Team in with the Socceroos, Test Cricket Team, Wallibes Rugby Team and the Davis Cup tennis team as the country’s worst national teams.
This article is an example of many of whom are still looking at the team’s lack of success in London and not the progress they have made since. They are grouping them in with many of the country’s high profile professional teams something that Wylie does not want to see happen, “Whilst there has been attention on the struggling fortunes of Australia’s men’s cricket, rugby and football teams, it should not overshadow these performances,” said Wylie.
Whatever viewpoint or perspective you have on the results that Swimming Australia has had in the last year the facts show they have made steps in improving their organization both in and out of the water.