At the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, Australian swim coach Dean Boxall arguably became as famous as his swimmer Ariarne Titmus when she won an Olympic gold medal in the 400 free, beating American superstar Katie Ledecky.
Boxall’s celebration in the stands, which included infamous hip thrusts and various gyrations against a railing, went viral around the world with opinions ranging from those who loved it to those who abhorred it.
This week in South Australia at the Australian National Championships then, cameras were fixated on Boxall as Titmus swam the 400 free again.
His celebration was wild. With the freedom to roam the entire side of the pool deck, Boxall chased his swimmer up and down the pool, almost obliterating an official, urging his swimmer on to the finish.
While still carrying the same intensity and animation, Boxall seemed to have less of a pressure release at the finish when he realized his swimmer had broken the record. He was still excited and intense and emotional, but it did feel more under control than last summer in Tokyo.
After last year’s Olympic celebration, Titmus shrugged off the criticism lobbed at her coach.
“That’s just the way Dean is,” she explained. “He’s very passionate about what he does – he really becomes quite animated,” she said at the time.
“This is just as much for him as it is for me,” she said. “He has sacrificed a lot in his family life, his kids and his wife, for his job. He puts 100% into being a swimming coach. I would not be here without him.”