AUSTRALIA, October 26. TWICE before Aussie Don Talbot, 71, has brought Canadian swimming to the top of its game. The Australian reported yesterday, in a story also run on Fox-Australia, that Talbot was approached during the Athens Games, where Canada won not a single medal, about taking on, for a third time, the task of bringing Canadian swimming back from the brink.
Though not interested in returning to the head coach position Talbot has said he may consider the top administrative position called director-general.
No official offer has been extended to Talbot, but he must be considered the favorite for the position based on his experience. Between successful Canadian stints he managed to coach all-time great Tracy Caulkins (Stockwell) to some of her finest performances and most recently oversaw the ascendancy of the Australian program to their lead positions in both the Sydney Olympics and then the 2001 Fukuoka FINA World Championships.
Talbot is first interested in being sure he would have enough power to carry out whatever steps he deems necessary to accomplish the reconstruction.
"I couldn't care if they called me 'chief bottle washer' as long as I had the power to get things done. I'm interested in the job, but my doubt is whether the Canadians are truly willing to do what needs to be done," Talbot said.
Immediately after the Games head coach Dave Johnson was fired and leading synchro swimming identity Debbie Muir was commissioned to conduct a major technical review of the sport in Canada.
Will the need for an iron fist approach by a strong character such as Talbot or his Aussie counterpart, Bill Sweetenham, who presently leads a resurgent British national team, be recognized by the commission as needed?