Beyond The Lane Lines: Aussie Coach Rohan Taylor Backs Cody Simpson As Olympic Threat

Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’  With each edition, we collect personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.

#1 2027 Pan American Games Announcement Coming Soon

As it stands right now, the 2027 Pan American Games host is to-be-determined but Panam Sports says an announcement will be forthcoming.

We reported in January of this year that the original host Barranquilla, Colombia was stripped of its duties due to ‘countless breaches of contracts.’ At the time, the cities Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, both in Bolivia, had expressed interest in taking over as host.

However, Panam Sports will be sending inspection teams to Asuncion, Paraguay and Lima, Peru this month, with final voting on the new spot to take place on March 12th.

The 2023 Pan American Games took place in Santiago, Chile from October 20th through November 5th, marking the first time the nation had hosted the elite event.

#2 Michael Johnson Starting Up New Track & Field League

Retired American sprint running Olympic champion Michael Johnson is spearheading a new track & field league set to debut in 2025.

Akin to the in-limbo International Swimming League (ISL), the new track & field league will aim to increase viewership and awareness of the sport outside of the quadrennial Olympic Games.

Johnson told“I love this sport and owe everything I have to this sport.

“It’s been a shame for me to watch it over the last couple decades since I retired not be able to continue to provide the same amazing moments to people, outside of just the Olympics.”

The details of the league, including format, funding and timing, are still in the works but discussions are reportedly underway with World Athletics. reported that ‘The Winners Alliance, a global athlete licensing and sponsorship firm is serving as the operator and capital partner, and has already made the single largest investment in track and field history for the venture—a seven-figure sum.’

#3 Strict Olympic Village Access Imposed For Paris 2024

The French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) announced just days ago that a strict Olympic Village policy for the Paris 2024 Olympics means families of French athletes will not be allowed to visit.

Village access during the Games will be limited to those in coaching, physiotherapist, physician, etc. roles, according to .

Instead, France’s Olympic athlete delegation will be able to visit with family at the nearby B&B Hotel Paris Saint-Denis Pleyel, with vehicles shuttling athletes between the hotel and the Village.

“We have sought to preserve a family cocoon, which is part of athletes’ equilibrium and enables them to perform. Society is changing and this meets one of the needs of our athletes,” confirmed Astrid Guyart, general secretary of the CNOSF. (Le Monde)

French President Emmanuel Macron officially inaugurated the Olympic Village on February 29th with the keys handed over to Olympic organizers. The Village is comprised of 82 buildings, 3,000 apartments and 14,250 beds in total.

#4 Western Australia Injects A$1.35 million into 2024 Athlete Support

Western Australia’s government unveiled a plan to inject A$1.35 million (~$882,000 USD) into athlete funding on the march towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

  • Payments of A$5,000 ($3,268 USD) will be distributed to Olympic and Paralympic directly by the Western Australia Institute for Sport (WAIS) for a total of $270,000
  • WAIS will send $332,250 towards ‘athlete qualification and performance initiatives’ involving athletes, coaches and support staff.
  • $750,000 to be distributed to the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Team Appeal, with $375,000 to go to the Australian Olympic Committee, and $375,000 to Paralympics Australia.

Western Australia’s Premier Roger Cook said, “The countdown is on to the Paris 2024 Games, and my Government is offering financial assistance to give Western Australian athletes the best chance of Olympic glory.

“Our direct payments to athletes give them control over how they use the $5000 to prepare for the Games and realise their dreams.

“We are also making significant contributions to the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia to ensure that both the team and individual WA athletes are strongly supported.

“We’re getting behind our WA athletes – let’s hope they bring home gold for Australia!”

51 WA athletes represented Australia across 19 sports at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan including swimmers Tamsin Cook, Zac Incerti and Brianna Throssell.

#5 Aussie Coach Rohan Taylor Backs Cody Simpson as Potential Olympian

The Australian Olympic Trials are on the horizon, with the sole qualifying competition for the Paris 2024 Games slated for June 10th – 15th.

Among those vying for a coveted spot on the nation’s roster is 27-year-old Cody Simpson.

The Griffith University ace ripped a lifetime best of 51.67 in the 100m fly at December’s Queensland Championships to become the 8th-fastest Australian in history. He’ll be contesting that event, along with the sprint freestyles come June with the hopes of capturing not only an individual slot but also to travel to Paris as a relay swimmer.

And, Dolphins head coach Rohan Taylor backs Simpson as a major player for the Olympic squad.

Speaking to Wide World of Sports recently, Taylor said of the former pop singer, “He’s put himself right in the mix. He’s right there in the 100m fly.

“Matt Temple is clearly the lead in the 100m fly, and behind him you’ve got four or five there that could grab that second spot, and Cody is one of those.

“It’s going to be a tough 4x100m relay team to make because we’ve got some really good young ones coming through, as well as the established Kyle Chalmers, and you’ve got Matt Temple … throwing down some good 100m frees.”

Taylor continued, “I think in Cody’s situation, coming from being successful with his art and having the same type of application with his art and music and singing, and then transitioning into this sport, which he hadn’t done for a long time, and then immediately throwing himself in and applying himself and getting himself into the position here is to be admired.

“He’s deserving of being where he is right now. He’s worked really, really hard for this, as all elite athletes do, but he’s come into it late and then thrown himself in and been able to put himself in that position, which I think is pretty extraordinary.

“Cody is investing the time, he’s making the commitment, taking every opportunity.”

We’ll see what Simpson previews at the non-selection Australian National Championships which begin on April 17th.

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1 month ago

Well, i doubt it

1 month ago

Cody attracts to much attention if selected for Paris not sure if that’s a good thing ?

1 month ago

I respect the effort Cody has put in too. It might have generated better results if he had started his ‘comeback’ (if you can call it that) a year or two earlier.

I wouldn’t mind him getting the #2 fly spot unless someone else steps up. We could do with an extra fly option for relays – Temple shouldn’t have to it all on his own.1

1 month ago

Not sure I see Cody happening. He’ll need to drop 0.5 off his 100 free PB for any chance at the relay, and he’s one of maybe 5 for the second slot in fly, most of whom are faster than him.

Would be cool to see him compete for the storyline of it though

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Fully agree with regards the probablity.

  • there are just too many significantly faster than him in the 4X100 equation
  • the AUS QT is probably a “reach” for everyone other than Temple but whilst FINA A is potentially within range, he’s just one of a number contending nor is he “first cab on the rank”.
  • In any case, I suspect Temple WILL swim both heats and finals of 4XMED ….. unless he can’t

I have a good deal of genuine respect for the amount of sheer hard graft Simpson has put in over the past few years after thinking originally that this was all somewhat of a sideshow.

That he has attained the standard that he… Read more »

1 month ago

Rooting for him!

Konner Scott
Reply to  Owlmando
1 month ago

Would be cool to see. It’d be great for the sport.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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