Patrick Callan: “Don’t Single One Man Out from the Team”

Patrick Callan, a members of the prelims heat of the United States’ men’s 800 free relay on Wednesday morning at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, has spoken up in support of his teammate Zach Apple.

Apple had the slowest split of the American finals group, splitting 1:47.31, as the Americans missed the podium. That marked the first time at a non-boycotted Olympics where the American men missed a medal in a relay.

American Splits:

  • Kieran Smith – 1:44.74
  • Drew Kibler – 1:45.51
  • Zach Apple – 1:47.31
  • Townley Haas – 1:44.87

The splits left the American relay .59 seconds behind the bronze medalists from Australia.

“Zach left this heart out there, couldn’t be more proud of him and the rest of the relay team,” Callan said as part of a pair of Tweets supporting his teammate. “For anyone sending hate Zach’s way, remember there were 7 of us that took part in that relay between prelims and finals. Every one of us, especially myself, could have been better. Don’t single one man out from the team. Win and lose as a team.”

The Tweets are a rare insight into the mentality of Team USA during the meet – American swimmers have told SwimSwam that they have been blocked from speaking to media outside of the rights holders from NBC until they return home to the states.

All four members of the American prelims relay, including Callan at 1:47.12, were faster than Apple’s finals split, but only Drew Kibler was chosen to race in the final. Also not on the finals relay was Caeleb Dressel, though we still don’t know if that was the coaches’ decision or Dressel’s decision to preserve himself for his later races.

Like Dressel, Apple had the 100 free semifinals earlier in the session. Apple didn’t advance.

Apple’s finals split on the 800 free relay looked on-target through 150 meters, where he split 1:18.31. That was the second-fastest first 150 meters of any 3rd leg of the field. The Americans sat in 2nd, behind only the Brits, at that point. Apple split 29.00 on his final 50, though, as the Americans slid to 5th place.

Apple’s 200 Free Splits:

  • 50m – 23.80
  • 100m – 26.74
  • 150m – 27.77
  • 200m – 29.00

Apple earned his spot on the relay via a 5th-place finish in the individual 200 free. While the double didn’t go well for him on Wednesday, his meet did start with a very-fast 46.69 anchor to the American 400 free relay that was the 2nd-fastest of the entire field and secured gold.

Apple will likely play a role at least in the men’s 400 medley relay still later in the meet.

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swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Why n earth can they be blocked from speaking to media?!

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Media? Not blocked at all. They talk to NBC after races, Lydia sat down on the Today Show, etc.

They might be referring to social media. Likely with the tenuous nature of the COVID-19 situation as well as the fiasco from the Rio gas station “police” incident, surely there’s an even extra layer of privacy / caution needed above and beyond the usual this time around.

Willswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Does NBC own Sports Illustrated or will Brooke Forde’s Dad have to wait a couple weeks before he tells her “good job!”?

PVSFree
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Serious question because I’m not a lawyer: how is this not anti-competitive behavior and a violation of anti-trust law? Is there a license that makes this common in sports coverage?

Last edited 1 month ago by PVSFree
Qqq
Reply to  PVSFree
1 month ago

I haven’t seen their contracts or other docs controlling olympic team membership, but probably safe to assume they are essentially employees of the Olympic team and subject to whatever the team has negotiated with NBC.

Beverly Drangus
Reply to  Qqq
1 month ago

I would guess you’re right about this. I wonder what would happen though if Dressel for example made the team, saw the contract, went on twitter saying “USA Swimming wants to bar me from speaking to anyone but NBC for the entirety of the games, and I will insist on speaking to Swimsam after every session.” Is he off the team?

DCC Parent
Reply to  PVSFree
1 month ago

I’m not familiar with the details of this deal, but some level of “exclusivity” is likely what NBC purchased as part of the broadcast rights (or the IOC sold). Exclusivity can be defined in a number of ways — markets, geographies, duration, scope, content, etc.

It is common in these types of deals and in a variety of other industries. For the buyer, it provides some protection of their investment. For the seller, it usually justifies charging a premium.

That70s_swimmer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

NBC paid $7.75 billion to the International Olympic Committee for the broadcast rights! Not millions – but billions – of reasons why NBC has drawn the line – or has built that wall!.

Swim3057
Reply to  That70s_swimmer
1 month ago

NBC as the rights holder gets the first interview after both heats and finals, that has been the case at every Olympics. Any other restrictions are by USA Swimming and/or USOPC. It appears athletes in other sports are doing additional non-NBC interviews and media conferences for what it is worth….

Tomek
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

It all about $$$, NBC paid lots of money for the TV rights

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

NBC is main stream media which seems more concerned about fluff over our 1st amendment rights. This is a subtle, insidious attack on the rights of individuals.

Suzie Lynn
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

You need to re read the above article!!! 🤦‍♀️

Suzie Lynn
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

You need to re read the above article!!!🤦‍♀️

You Don’t Say
Reply to  swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Totalitarianism machine

Scotty P
1 month ago

I give Apple tons of props for finishing it out and going for it.

DrewDu
1 month ago

Despite what the public wants, it’s the guy in the arena that toils to face victory or defeat. Kudos to all of our athletes who dare to struggle and fight for the betterment of mankind.

50free
1 month ago

Ya we need to single out the coaches instead. Zach clearly went for it. Coaches shouldn’t have had him out there.

Blackflag82
Reply to  50free
1 month ago

Exactly! I’m sure there are some folks who have been trash talking Apple, but the comments I’ve seen have been directing the questions/blame where it belongs…on the coaches. The Dressel and Apple debate aside, there were literally two other guys who could have been on the relay that didn’t have races earlier in the night.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

edit: 3 swimmers not named Dressel or Apple

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

Doubles are hard especially when the semifinals/final roll around.

25Backstroke
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

He put his heart into the swim, and clearly just died from going out too fast. But logistically, Apple was 1:46.xx as the slowest split on the 2019 Gwangju relay, and hasn’t improved much (if at all) in the event since. I think he was always a toss up for anywhere between 1:45 high – 1:47 low, while Seliskar and Pieroni were both locks for 1:45 high, and probably even Dressel too. Terrible decision by the coaching staff.

Spectatorn
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

Besides the unknown of Dressel coulda/ woulda swim faster than Drew, there wasn’t much for coaches to change. Apple was 5th in trial and swam his heart out every race in Tokyo so far, there was no reason for coaches to deny him a spot on that relay, and the potential medal.

The 4 swimmers all went for it and support each other in that pursuit before and after. Let’s appreciate that.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Spectatorn
1 month ago

Apple absolutely swam his heart out, and I’m not questioning that and I appreciate his and the team’s efforts. I can appreciate all of that and still question the coaching decision that led to those four guys being the relay team. And I do question the idea that there wasn’t much for the coaches to change.

If the coaches wanted him to have a chance to swim the relay, it seems making him a prelims swimmer would have been the logical choice.

1) if they thought him swimming it in prelims (with a larger break between the two swims) would possibly not qualify the team, then it isn’t going to work for the finals either
2) There… Read more »

Jake
Reply to  50free
1 month ago

For real, he could have finaled in the 100, instead they made him have two bad swims. Doubles are hard, especially for big guys. The coaches should have known this and put Seli or Peroni in.

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  50free
1 month ago

This fiasco is 100% on the coaching staff.

eagleswim
Reply to  50free
1 month ago

hindsight is 20/20. no one (or very few) were saying that ahead of the race. Apple looked like a good choice after his relay anchor, and frankly there was like 2 hours between the races; I think they reasonably expected that a professional athlete could do that. Apple just had a bad swim. That is ok; it happens to everybody, but I really don’t think this is on the coaches.

swimlikefishdrinklikefish
Reply to  50free
1 month ago

They didn’t play by the rules, if you wanted blake on the relay, give kibler a pass.

pete kennedy
1 month ago

What a great relay. Just look at those splits.

Apple put everything into his leg of the relay –

Why was Dressel not on the relay ? I would hesitate to state the reason.

Jeff Lebowski
Reply to  pete kennedy
1 month ago

100 free gold > 800 relay silver / bronze

Ratio
Reply to  pete kennedy
1 month ago

Obviously because he had the 100 free semis /s

Jake
Reply to  Ratio
1 month ago

This is the same reason they didn’t put Apple in… oh wait…

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  pete kennedy
1 month ago

Because he’s a 1:46.6 200 free guy, which Seli could’ve done.

Emg1986
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Not to mention if Dressel had been on the relay, failed to make a difference, then proceeded to come second on the 100 free (not saying this would have happened, but the 100 free really is too close to call.) the conversation would be “Why did we put Dressel on the relay.”

The truth is he probably wouldn’t have made a systemic change to the result, and definitely not the gold. So why add mileage for no purpose.

Bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Dressel’s beaten Seliskar numerous times in season for the 2 free.

bigNowhere
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

Seliskar’s best time is 1:45.7. Dressel’s is 1:46.6.

And I’ve never seen Dressel swim it well. his pacing is always up and down.

sure
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

That’s not really a meaningful point. Not sure if you understand that

Honest Observer
1 month ago

If the sentiment on the comments section last night is any indication, there’s no hate gong Apple’s way. All of the criticism I saw was directed at the coaching staff for underestimating the effect that the 100 semifinals would have on him.

Virtus
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

I doubt callans referring to swim swam hate, most likely to Twitter or Instagram stuff.

Honest Observer
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

If there’s stuff like that on Twitter or Instagram, I can only guess it’s from non-swimming people. Anybody who ever swam competitively would only sympathize with Apple. I’d also guess that some of the jeering is from the usual reflexively anti-American crowd, in which case it wasn’t really directed at Apple, but more at the US. There seem to be a fair number of people who automatically exult whenever the US loses.

T S
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

True, but Twitter is full of extraordinarily toxic people who like to talk about things they know nothing about. So doesn’t surprise me that people are being toxic towards zapple. Rips my heart out tho that he might see it, cause no doubt he’s being hard on himself and toxic Twitter nerds won’t make things any better

sure
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

I think you’re being overly optimistic about the swimming community. We’re not a bunch of saints superior to everyone else. He’s for sure getting hate from swimmers

Mean Dean
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

While it wasn’t anything too major, definitely some people shaming him specifically in his Instagram comments. I imagine his messages and other social media are even worse

jeff
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

there’s some sad instagram hate on his latest post

Last edited 1 month ago by jeff
Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

The coaching staff can’t afford to put an athlete in a position to fail.

Joe
1 month ago

Such a joke that NBC has exclusive rights to talking to athletes with all the technology we have today. Would increase viewership for events if these athletes were seen on other outlets.

Scotty P
Reply to  Joe
1 month ago

Weren’t they the ones who had the idea of morning finals too?

Bruh
Reply to  Joe
1 month ago

It’s almost definitely in the contacts to be on the Olympic team so…

T S
Reply to  Bruh
1 month ago

I thought the olympics were about “sports and unity” and “coming together” and not about a paycheck. At least that’s what NBC told us all

Tomek
1 month ago

With some of exceptions most of us here are disappointed with coaching staff selection and voiced our concerns prior to the race. We do know Apple tried his best and did not sabotage the relay on purpose. I for one hope he will come back with monster split in the medley relay

Virtus
Reply to  Tomek
1 month ago

Yeah hopefully he can keep his head up but I’m sure it’s hard after all that.

anonymous
Reply to  Tomek
1 month ago

Apple needs to use any frustration and anger energy on his leg of the relay.

That70s_swimmer
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

I think the psychological impact of a slower 100 free in the semis (slower than Trials) and the clear time difference in the relay is going to have a big impact on him. Yes, he did a great 100 on the first day relay – but these two last swims were big – especially the relay. How big of an impact – read what Grothe wrote on this site about the emotional impact it had on him with his slow 200 on the relay. It’s the US Coaches time to “make up” for their less than stellar decision and get him psychologically ready for the relays. Time to get Apple an emotional Gold medal – to go along with that… Read more »

Scotty P
Reply to  Tomek
1 month ago

Bro threw down a 46. I am pulling for the guy for not quitting when something was less than ideal. He’s got it in him!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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, …

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