The Top-10 Inside With Brett Hawke Podcasts of 2020

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The Top-10 Inside With Brett Hawke Podcasts of 2020

Inside with Brett Hawke has become a can’t-miss podcast that catches up with some of the biggest names in the sport. Led by Brett Hawke, who swam at Auburn and represented Australia at two Olympic Games, the podcast looks at iconic moments and rivalries, among other storylines. Hawke gave us his top 10 podcasts of 2020, topped by the Russian rocket Alexander Popov.

10. Michael Klim

Klim took time out of his schedule to sit with fellow Australian Olympian Brett Hawke and discussed a variety of topics on the Inside with Brett Hawke Podcast. Hawke conducted a superb interview with Klim, chatting with his former Aussie teammate about a variety of topics – from moving from Poland to Australia, to his struggles at the 1996 Olympics to the iconic 4×100 freestyle relay victory – and defeat of the United States – that Klim jumpstarted at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

During his career, Klim ranked as one of the world’s elite freestylers and butterflyers, earning six Olympic medals along the way. His leadoff leg of 48.18 on the Aussie 400 freestyle relay at the 2000 Olympics enabled Australia to hand the United States its first loss in the event in Olympic history. More, Klim was the star of the 1998 World Championships in Perth, where he captured seven medals, including titles in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. That competition also yielded a silver medal in the 100 freestyle and a bronze in the 50 freestyle, and the fact that Klim medaled in three freestyle distances and the 100 fly demonstrated his range.

9. Nathan Adrian

Adrian has been one of the most consistent sprinters of the last 10 years, establishing himself as a mainstay on the U.S. National Team since making his first team in 2008. He talked about how he has been able to stay consistent (6:50) over the years and what he gets out of each practice. Adrian went over his early days at Cal (11:00) when he was joining lanes with past NCAA champions Duje Draganja and Milorad Cavic in his freshman season in 2006.

Adrian talked about the stress of seeing the heat sheet on race day (13:00) and how he is able to approach his race plan rather than think about the opposition and who is lining up alongside him. He talked about his 100 freestyle in London where he won the gold medal over heavy favorite James Magnussen (22:50) of Australia, and became the first American to win the 100 freestyle since 1988. Adrian mentioned the day he saw Magnussen swim a 47.1 in the 100 freestyle at Australian Trials and how he reacted to the news in training.

8. Ryan Murphy

Murphy is the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the current long course world record holder in the 100 back. He won eight individual NCAA titles while at Cal Berkeley, sweeping all four years in the 100 and 200 back, as well as winning four relay titles in 2014 and 2015. He swam for the LA Current in the 2020 ISL season and is still one of the top backstrokers in the world.

7. James Magnussen

Magnussen went over his 2011 world title in the 100 freestyle and how he rapidly improved from third at the 2010 Australian Trials to gold medalist at the 2011 Worlds, including fully dedicating himself to being a professional swimmer (17:50), and using disappointment to fuel himself to be on Australia’s Worlds relays (21:30).

Magnussen shared some specific sets he did (26:50) to perfect his 100 freestyle back 50, and why he limited the number of training sessions per week (30:30). He won the World title at age 20 (36:00), and also led off Australia’s gold medal winning 4×100 freestyle relay team with a 47.4 to stamp himself as a contender in the 100 freestyle (38:30).

James Magnussen followed that up with a 47.10 at the 2012 Olympic Trials (43:00), although he didn’t feel good in the warm-up before the race, but still knew he was going to swim fast. Although Magnussen was the top swimmer in the world leading into the 2012 Olympics, he had a disappointing showing in London (50:00) with a fourth place in the 4×100 freestyle relay and silver medal in the 100 freestyle, getting beat by Nathan Adrian by 0.01. Magnussen went over what went wrong in the lead-up to the Olympics, believing he didn’t race as much as he should have before the Games, and how he felt overwhelmed from all the hype.

6. David Marsh

Marsh was set to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2020 before it had to be pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic. Marsh has coached on four US Olympic teams, including being named as the head coach of the US women’s team in 2016 that won eight total gold medals. Marsh currently coaches at Team Elite in San Diego with a number of Tokyo Olympic hopefuls Kathleen BakerJacob Pebley and Michael Chadwick.

5. Cody Simpson

Simpson’s interview came right after he qualified for the Australian Olympic Trials in the 100 butterfly at a meet in San Diego. Simpson, who had enjoyed a career in pop music in his teens, has been training with Hawke in Los Angeles. Before Simpson found stardom in the music industry, and also celebrated acting and modeling success, he was an age-group swimming star in Australia and harbored dreams of racing at the Olympic Games. As a youth, Simpson was a Queensland age-group champ in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. While those victories arrived in 12-and-under competition, anyone familiar with the sport recognizes the talent racing at any level in Queensland.

4. Yannick Agnel

2012 Olympic 200 freestyle champion Yannick Agnel of France weighed in on Brett Hawke’s podcast about the status of the 200 freestyle in the swimming world right now, saying Danas Rapsys is the only swimmer who swims the 200 freestyle the right way.

“There is only one way to dominate and win a 200 freestyle,” Agnel said, referencing the need to take an attacking style. “When I’m watching swimming now, the only guy that knows how to swim a 200 freestyle is Danas Rapsys. And you know what, if it wasn’t for him to have shaken the blocks in Gwangju, he would have won.”

3. Bob Bowman

Bowman talked about the long journey of coaching Phelps (9:40) throughout his entire career from when he was 11 in 1996 until he was 31 in 2016. He went over his views on swimmer development (12:30) in the early years of their career and how looking at immediate goals and having a plan is key to developing champions. Bowman discussed his path to how Phelps ended up in his lap at Baltimore and how he didn’t end up on the path he thought (16:40).

Bob Bowman went over how he handles being at an Olympic Games and the mental pressures that come with it (25:30) and what his scheduled daily routine looks like. Another thing he thought was important was treating every meet as it was important and not saving yourself for bigger meets (30:00).

Bowman mentioned how his next “dream” is to win an NCAA title (36:45). He is currently in his sixth season at Arizona State University and the men’s team was seeded to finish seventh at the 2020 NCAAs before the meet was cancelled.

2. Ian Thorpe

Thorpe went over the difficulties of the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics when he was breaking world records left and right (5:00), as well breaking his ankle in late 1999. On top of that, he was accused of taking human growth hormone and it took a lot out of him. Thorpe also talked about the legendary 200 freestyle final in Sydney in 2000 when he lost to Pieter van den Hoogenband (11:00) and how that loss fueled him for the next four years to eventually win gold in Athens 2004 (36:00).

Ian Thorpe also famously anchored the 4×100 free relay team that won gold in 2000 over the Americans, but had split a suit right before the final (24:00) and had to rush to put on a wet suit that he wore earlier in the night for the 400 freestyle. It was a stressful situation but he was able to make it on the deck for the final and swim in a truly historic race.

Thorpe detailed how the Aussies won their first Olympic gold medal in that relay, breaking the US streak in the event (27:30), and hearing that roar of the Australian crowd when he was on the block against US sprinter Gary Hall, Jr. Thorpe took on superstar status after 2000 and Hawke and Thorpe reminisced (32:30) on times when they were in Japan when he would meet fans at events.

1. Alexander Popov

Popov, a native of Russian, had moved to Australia in 1993 with coach Gennadi Touretski and he went over how he moved to Australia and when he met the host Hawke in Australia. Popov joined Touretski in 1990 and two years later became the Olympic champion in two events. Leading into those Olympics, Popov went over some sets with how he gained the confidence to take down the almighty Matt Biondi of the United States (12:00).

Alexander Popov went through his training regimen (15:56) and how his injury prevention techniques influenced the athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport. Popov was best known for his distance per stroke in sprint swimming, which was generally thought to be a tempo-driven event and he went over how he was able to master that (19:00) in his career.