Thumbs up from Mack Horton and his stance for clean sport….a date with destiny awaits

Mack-Horton
THUMBS UP FOR CLEAN SPORT: Olympic champion Mack Horton leading the charge in the pool and for clean sport. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Picture this. Mack Horton, a spring in his step, bounds into Adelaide’s SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre tomorrow morning, surrounded by his Dolphins team mates.

Many who have stood with Mack during one of the most tumultuous periods in world sport – supporting his stance for clean sport – proud of their Olympic champion, their fellow Dolphin, a leader among men, their mate.

Men who stood when Mack walked into the Gwangju dining hall to a standing ovation with brave brother in arms, Brit Duncan Scott – who joined in with his own protest.

Relay Team AUS, Mens 4x200m Freestyle Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 26 July 2019, Gwangju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

DOLPHINS MATESHIP: Standing by their man. Alex Graham, Kyle Chalmers and Clyde Lewis congratulate Mack Horton after winning the 4x200m in Gwangju. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

A simple sentence from Mack said it all and kept a lid on all of the reaction. “My stance has always been for clean sport. It is not, and never will be about individuals or nations. Today’s outcome does not change my stance.”

And this from his fellow Olympic champion and good mate Kyle Chalmers: “I’m in full support of my team mate Mack….again it’s out of our control…. I support Mack and what Mack stands for…”

There will be no wild back slapping, no celebrations – but hearts beating a little quicker and chests pumped, knowing that Mack Horton is vilified –but not that he will buy into it.

He’s got a job to do. He’s got a gold medal to defend. His stance for clean sport has not changed.

Mack Horton AUS, 400m Freestyle Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 21 July 2019, Gwanju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

STROKED: Olympic champion Mack Horton continues his stance for clean sport. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Knowing that Mack Horton is one of them but also knowing they too still have a job to do. To train harder than they have ever trained and to try and put the Coronavirus out of their minds – the next serious threat to the Games they have worked so hard for.

Having spent two decades inside the Australian swim team’s inner sanctum, they will all get down and get the job done- that’s the Aussie way.

Their coaches, stop watches at the ready, won’t be surprised with the times their charges are pumping out.

They will be better than yesterday, better than last week. They will all let their swimming do the talking

Relay Team AUS, Mens 4x200m Freestyle Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 26 July 2019, Gwangju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

TIME TO CELEBRATE: Alex Graham, Kyle Chalmers and Clyde Lewis have every reason to be happy. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

The boys who won gold in the 4x200m freestyle with Mack Horton on the anchor after Kyle Chalmers, Alex Graham and Clyde Lewis combined to win one of the toughest relays there is to win will lead the way with those who want to be there in 2020 pushing them to the limit.

Australia’s girls had done the same – with Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Brianna Throssell and Madi Wilson taking down the Americans and the world record that had stood for a decade.

They want the prestigious double in Tokyo.

And this from the man at the helm, Dolphins head coach Jacco Verhaeren who had laid the platform earlier in the day, settling the matter and providing a clear message to his team.

“Mack is a very focused athlete, he’s not easily distracted and he won’t be distracted by this either,” Verhaeren said.

Simon Cusack with Jacco

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN: Dolphins head coach Jacco Verhaeren (right) on deck with Olympic coach of the year Simon Cusack. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“He has dealt with situations like this before and never gets distracted so he won’t be in this case. He made his stance. His stance won’t change and that is fine.

“But we’re not in the business of commenting on foreign athletes or whatever the outcome is.

“We all know in the world there is a lot of opinion about this case.

“For us … whatever the outcome is, we’ll take it, we’ll respect the outcome and the process that has been given. And we’ll move on….because the focus is on the Olympics….and definitely not on this case.”

But there will be a real spring in their step and a little “nudge, nudge..wink, wink…say no more” attitude.

Because there is Olympic gold to be won..a date with destiny…you have to be ready.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Troy

    You missed McKeon’s name when mentioning the women’s 4×200.

    • Ian Hanson - Oceania Correspondent

      Cheers Troy….cant forget our MVP!

  2. John Clark

    Well Done Mack!! Now just wait for all those apologies from those that bagged you!!!! 🤙🏼🤙🏼