Hot Off the Presses: Australian Papers Take Aim at Magnussen and Crew

The Australian newspapers have very much a love-hate relationship with their swimmers. On the one hand, the constant press leaves the athletes as very public figures with huge sponsor value. On the other hand, when there is a perceived wrong, the papers hold little back in their attacks. Check out the headlines below from some of Australia’s biggest publications.

The headline of the Sydney Morning Herald after the Australians failed to medal in the men’s 400 free relay.


The Australian played off of James Magnussen’s nickname of “the Missile” as well in its headline criticism.


News.Com.Au kept with the trend. This relay’s miss was especially disappointing after the Aussie women won a surprise gold in the same relay on Saturday.


With James “the Rocket” Roberts and James “the Missle” Magnussen, the Australians dubbed themselves the “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. This headline pokes fun at exactly what they’re destroying.


Basic and simple; this headline reaches back to a past era, where bombs were the weapons of war-time choice, as compared to more modern “missiles”.


And finally, the West Australian, based out of Perth, took the high road and chose to focus on the French team’s success rather than the Australians’ lack thereof.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
15 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Typical of the Aussie press and tv. They have built up the 4×100 more than any other part of the games (in any sport), and yet when things don’t go as planned for their media coverage, they jump all over them just to sell a story. First it was all the crap about Liesel’s weight and now this. I don’t know how it is with the media in other parts of the world but Aussie media has to be one of the quickest to shoot down our athletes when they don’t perform to expectations.


same in the U.S.


ouch. australian media is a bitch


The Aussie media are as fickle as their more infamous British counterparts, but more to the point, the Aussie media and public like a humble sporting hero. We usually associate brash trash talkers with other nations, and while these sorts of figures can be embraced, they will usually be drawn and quartered if they fail to walk the walk after along the talk. Meanwhile the women’s 4×100 team are media darlings, not just for their performance and for their more humble qualities… Magnussen will have a chance for redemption, but he may want to rethink his approach to dealing with the media in future. The rest of this week will be a true test of his character At the end… Read more »


I disagree. The Australian sports media are completely misogynist. Women get probably less than 5% of coverage & it is rarely complimentary.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!