SSPC: How Going 47’s in the 100m Freestyle Became Routine for James Magnussen

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.

As promised, we brought back Aussie legend James Magnussen for part 3 of his swimming story. Maggie brought us through the tail end of his career, post-2013 world champs all the way to the 2016 Olympic Games. Before his shoulder injury in 2014, Magnussen describes his plan for racing as much as he could and how he came to casually drop in-season 47s every time he hit the pool.

It’s worth a listen to hear this candid account of what being on top of the world can feel like… and how that feeling can bring you back down. James speaks to the fact that even though he could go 47 anytime, he was unmotivated by anything that wasn’t Olympic gold. He was partying probably more than he should have to pass the time between the Comm games in 2014 and the Olympics, which as any swimmer knows is a long road. And then injury occurs.

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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1 year ago

Great interviews, great storyteller. I remember losing a considerable amount of money in 2012 when he lost to Adrian, I guess he convinced me when he said “brace yourselves” after going 47.10 in trials.

1 year ago

Sounds like mental burnout got to him initially and then the shoulder

Great interview, glad he is finding success after swimming

And, 21.4 50 free rolling start? Uh, he may still get that gold medal

Have him call Tony

M d e
Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

I mean I get he is a world class swimmer and then some. But if he actually hasn’t been training I can’t believe that at all.

Maybe if it had been SCM, but he said it was LCM. He didn’t go consistently under 22 when he was training.

Last edited 1 year ago by M d e
M d e
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
1 year ago

I just don’t buy it.

Still faster than I could ever do in a million years even if I was training? Sure.

But as fast or even faster than he was when he was training and at his peak I just find very hard to believe.

To be clear, it could be a combination of bad split timing and great relay start and charitable rounding etc. rather than dishonesty.

Last edited 1 year ago by M d e
Reply to  M d e
1 year ago

Could imagine it was a +.0something relay start.

With +.6 reaction time and +.1 for the slower flat start dive, might reflect more of a 22.low-mid range for an actual dive 50.

Still insane, but I could definitely see him doing that.

Irish Ringer
1 year ago

At least it wasn’t monotonous 🙂

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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