Australia's 2012 Olympics were historically bad. Their seven gold medals was the first time since Atlanta in 1996 that they fell into the single digits. They had fewer competitors, fewer medals, and only one gold medal in swimming, a sport the Aussies usually dominate.
Reasons behind this failure are starting to leak out with allegations of partying, bullying and discord within Australia's swimming program. The bullying was reportedly at its worst when two older men on the team tormented a younger swimmer, slapping him and calling him "fatty" and "chubby."
Three-time gold medalist Leisel Jones reportedly pulled the bullying swimmers aside to tell them to be leaders, not nuisances. The bullying even led to an altercation where one swimmer ended up with a torn shirt. It became a source of division within the team.
Tommaso D'Orsogna, a 4x100 freestyle relay member, spoke about the bad behavior from the team, and how it was different from previous Olympics. They made prank calls and knocked on doors.
"I suppose the thing is, people are kind of saying 'it's just boys being being boys' but unfortunately I come back and I look back on that kind of thing and maybe that would be acceptable in schoolboys rugby ... but this is the Australian Olympic team," 21-year-old D'Orsogna said.
"That kind of behaviour shouldn't be tolerated nor should it be allowed.
"I can definitely confirm that there's no way that any other Australian team that went away to the Olympics would have been mucking around and doing that stuff."
Kevin Neil, the CEO of Swimming Australia, said in a recent interview that his job may be in jeopardy because of London. An inquiry launched by Swimming Australia has been taken over by the Australian Sports Commission. Neil took full responsibility for the poor performance, but that's not going to help Australia's medal count now. Responsible behavior during the Olympics may have helped.
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