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Swim scandals out of proportion: Magnussen

April 25, 2013
James Magnussen

James Magnussen

James Magnussen says Australia‘s swimming scandals have been blown out of proportion, but promises to change his brazen ways and become a humble champion.

Magnussen hopes his swim teammates and the Australian public will let him move on after being disciplined for his role in the Stilnox controversy.

But he says reports of widespread cultural decay in Australia’s swim team at the London Olympics are off the mark.

“I think a lot of it has been blown out of proportion,” Magnussen told reporters in Adelaide on Thursday.

“There was a lot more team unity and friendship among the team than has been reported on.”

Magnussen said he was relieved to be returning to competition at the Australian championships in Adelaide starting on Friday.

“It feels quite comfortable and quite good to be back around this environment,” he said.

“I feel very out of place and I get quite nervous having to front press conferences and things like that when it’s not about my swimming.

“First and foremost, I’m a swimmer. I swim fast and that is what I do. That is where I feel comfortable so it’s good to be back in this environment.”

Magnussen said he wasn’t nervous about returning to a team environment after the bitter fallout from the London Games, where Australia won just one gold medal in the pool in the bleakest Olympic swim campaign in two decades.

“I don’t think I have anything to prove to my teammates,” he said, promising to be a more humble swimmer.

“I think I have got to prove it to myself first and then everyone else can follow – the public, the press, the rest of the team.

“Once I’m comfortable in my own skin and once I am swimming fast and acting the way that I want to act, then people will judge me accordingly.

“I participated in all the due processes and I think that is behind us now.

“I think it’s really important for us as a swimming community, and absolutely myself in particular, to focus on the swimming now and put the results on the board and let people focus on the positives.”

Magnussen fleetingly questioned his future in the sport after winning silver instead of his expected gold medal in the 100m freestyle in London.

“I have been under a lot of stress and pressure at different points and you do ask yourself questions,” he said.
“But all in all, I think all I wanted to do was get back to being a swimmer and being judged on my swimming.”



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