James Magnussen on 2011 Scuffle with Russians in 4×100 Free Ready Room

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with world champion and freestyle legend James Magnussen. Mel and I geek out over James not because he’s a great swimmer, but because he’s a great swimmer that we happened to run into at a music festival in 2016. James was taking a vacation in the US and happened to end up in Austin at the time. Mel spotted him from 50 yards away through a crowd of people, and James was kind enough to take a picture with us. We spend way too long talking about that, but there is a positive that came from that story: James actually went to a Texas practice, without telling anyone, and watched the longhorns swim for nearly an hour before he was asked to leave the pool.

After all that, we get into James’ career, and his real breakout meet on the international stage: world championships in 2011. Magnussen tells us that not only did he have pneumonia 2 weeks prior to the meet, but in the ready room for the 4×100 free relay, there was a bit of a scuffle with the Russian team.

Follow James Magnussen and what he’s doing now here.

Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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9 months ago

Forever my favorite freestyler that peaked at the wrong time, prime he should’ve scared cielo at London. Could’ve beens obviously don’t matter, but that 4×100 crew could’ve been legendary with better behavior

Reply to  Ragnar
9 months ago

Crazy to think that three Aussies this past decade were 47.10 or faster, but just not at the same time and (for two of the three at least) not when it mattered the most.

Reply to  Joe
9 months ago

I have this theory that at there is an ancient Australian power which allows one to travel at 47.1 speeds, but it must be passed on each quad. Sullivan, Magnussen, McEvoy…will Chalmers finally buck the trend?

Reply to  Joe
9 months ago

To be fair, Bernard and Sullivan were neck and neck for the entire 2008 Olympics, and he still gave a great effort to get silver losing by not that much. Magnussen may’ve not be able to replicate his 47 low, but he still went one of the fastest times of his career and just got edged out by a once in a lifetime swim by Adrian. McEvoy just flat out peaked at the wrong time and completely choked in Rio not even getting within a second of his famous swim.

So while this is kinda a funny swimming meme, I think McEvoy is the only one who actually deserves ridicule. Though maybe don’t make fun of him because honestly… Read more »

Reply to  IM FAN
9 months ago

McEvoy deserves ridicule? Please get some perspective.

Reply to  IM FAN
9 months ago

I just read something about after qualifying for the Rio olympics McEvoy was actually facing a lot of bash from random people in social media due to his parent’s filing for bankruptcy. I am not sure if that caused him to not swim as well in RIO with all the stress that his family is facing, but we know he hasn’t been swimming as fast since. sadly.

Reply to  StreamlineDude
9 months ago

Never heard about that before. I didn’t mean “he deserves ridicule” quite so literally. Just making it to the games, hell even the trials, deserves a ton of respect. I was just trying to make a general point that of the 3 Australians he was the only one who actually faltered.

Last edited 9 months ago by IM FAN
Reply to  IM FAN
9 months ago

“McCoy deserves ridicule” said the keyboard warrior who never even made it to his varsity swim team.
The only depressing thing here is your attempt to diminish someone who’s very much likely to be more successful in his field than you on yours.

M d e
Reply to  Olympian
9 months ago

Phrasing was bad, but you are missing his point.

He is saying that McEvoy is the only one who actually underperformed, which is true.

Corn Pop
9 months ago

According to the CIA the only non metric countries are Myanmar Liberia & USA. Congrats.

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  Corn Pop
9 months ago

….maggie’s now 245 lbs, which, if he were still swimming, would translate to very short 16 week taper….but my math…which may not be entirely sound)

Fly and die is the only strategy
9 months ago

Can anyone list the minute mark where they talk about the ready room scuffle?

Reply to  Fly and die is the only strategy
9 months ago

We’ve added chapters if you open the video on YouTube, you can jump to certain key parts of the conversation.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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