BOLZANO, Italy, November 14. THANKS to a partnership between SwimmingWorld.TV and the meet managers at the Bolzano International Swim Meet, the global audience of Swimming World has had the chance to see King Shark Federico Bocchia in action, and the response has been mixed but plentiful.
As you can see in the video above, Bocchia has a unique way of coming up to the block as well as celebrating at meets that allow such pomp and circumstance. Prior to the men's 50-meter freestyle this weekend, he wore a crown with a royal scepter and robe. Then, after completing a 22.04 to 22.11 victory over USA's Josh Schneider, Bocchia exploded in celebration, jumped out of the pool, donned his crown and scepter and then ate an apple.
SwimMAC's Peter Verhoef explains the apple part of the celebration.
@swimmingworld the apple is for a meet sponsors – a local apple producer in Bolzano – All athletes get as many as you can eat!
— Peter Verhoef (@peteverhoef) November 15, 2012
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, a top-flight sprinter in her own right hoped for a different outcome.
@swimmingworld I wish Josh had won and then took the crown! That would have made for some good TV
— A.Vanderpool-Wallace (@annabahama) November 14, 2012
Meanwhile, Swimming World super fan Erin Quinn came out on the side of Bocchia and his antics.
— Erin Quinn (@ErinQuinn11) November 14, 2012
Auburn head coach Brett Hawke, who has seen some intense celebration of his own having previously coached Brazil's Cesar Cielo, questioned whether Bocchia was serious.
— Brett Hawke (@BrettHawke) November 14, 2012
Even the BBC's Nick Hope took notice.
MUST SEE – A robe, crown & scepter, most over the top pre-race antics ever? Federico 'King Shark' Bocchia in Italy: swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/Wor…
— Nick Hope (@NickHopeBBC) November 14, 2012
Some swimmers have also come out in defense of Bocchia, saying that he's a good guy and that this type of celebration only happens in exhibition-style meets.
— Dan Green (@danieljgreen) November 15, 2012
— Adam Ritter (@adamjamesritter) November 15, 2012
Again, special thanks to the Bolzano International Swim Meet for making the chance to view this type of race footage possible by uploading to SwimmingWorld.TV. If other meet organizers would like to capitalize on the unique platform offered by SwimmingWorld.TV, feel free to contact us.
For more races, interviews and highlights from Bolzano, check out the event landing page.