Rivolta Explains Abrupt Mid-Race Exit

by Robert Gibbs 14

December 13th, 2018 News, Rio 2016 Olympic Games


  • Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00* am ET
  • *The final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
  • Live Results (Omega)

Specators and other swim fans were thrown for a bit of a loop the other day when Italy’s Matteo Rivolta, the 2nd overall seed in the men’s 100 fly, failed to make it to the first wall during his prelims race, and instead, abruptly stopped after his breakout and exited the pool.

Video seemed to indicate that Rivolta had suddenly broken his streamline, but it was unclear if it was due to some sort of technical miscue on Rivolta’s part, or injury.

Rivolta briefly addressed what happened in an Instagram post a day after the race, explaining that he simply “lost position of my hands”

The caption reads:

“This is not happening to me, right? Not here!” It’s just been one of those days where you wanna wake up and leave it all behind.
I don’t really know how I made such a stupid mistake. But it is.
Diving into the water I lost the right position of my hands and I totally stopped so that all I could do was quit.
Deeply disappointed by myself but life goes on and hopefully it’s not all about swimming.
So grateful to everyone who has been close to me.
Love you all ❤️
The 27 year-old represented Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he finished 25th in the 100 fly. He’s the Italian record holder in all three SCM butterfly events, holding lifetime bests of 22.83, 49.54, and 1:53.06. Anything close to his best time in the 100 would have easily put him through to finals, and that time of 49.54 would’ve placed 6th.
Rivolta’s meet is not yet over, however, as he advanced to the semifinals of the 50 fly this morning after tying for 13th in prelims.

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You put your head down and finish. You work on that in practice. You miss finals? So what. Don’t ever quit.


My coach said I don’t care if your legs fall off if I ever see any of you stop during a race you are off the team.


What if your suit falls down to your ankles? I give you permission to stop.

ole 99

Or you keep swimming and get invited to be on The Tonight Show….


Mark Schwietz

I was just going to add this story. I swam for St. John’s University in the late `70’s and this was epic.


You messed your start up so you quit? At world champs? Pathetic. Great role model you got there


‘Pathetic’ is a really strong word to attribute to somebody who messed up and has since held their hands up and expressed their disappointment in themself. As a rule, perhaps don’t use anonymity to say things you otherwise wouldn’t.


You start your posts the way Trump ends his tweets. Sad!


I guess you could say his actions are…Rivolta-ing

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