Danish swimming is practically in shock after Shannon Rollason announced that he is resigning after the World Championships in December.
– At this moment we are very disappointed and saddened. We have to just collect ourselves a bit, says Pia Holten, director of the Danish Swimming Federation.
Jeanette Ottesen, who just three weeks ago won two gold medals at the European Championships in Berlin, is so shaken that she is unsure of what will happen now with his career.
– I am totally speechless. The last six months have been the best in my career, and now I’m just terribly sad. He is the greatest coach I’ve had. He understood me and knew how I should train. Right now, I know nothing, says Jeanette Ottesen.
Asked if this means that she is straight out contemplating to stop her career, Ottesen says:
– I don’t know. I just know that he is the best coach, and that there is no-one who can compare with him. So I do not know what the Swimming Federation can come up with, for me to keep on swimming, says Ottesen and continues:
– I’ll have to get a coach who measures up to him. Otherwise I will have to move to Australia with him, she says.
It is because of family reasons, that Rollason returns home to Australia around New Year. His family is not settling well in Denmark, and that has made him to stop prematurely.
– He has proved to be a huge capacity and helped us now to have the best Danish European championships ever. We just have to pick up the pieces and find out what to. Right now, we must be allowed to be a bit sad, comments Pia Holten.
The Federation Director was as surprised as the swimmers when she was told that Shannon Rollason was quitting almost two ahead of time.
– We had hoped that he would be with us all the way to the Rio Olympics. And therefore, we of course have no plans for what will happen now. But, we have previously shown that when we are touched by adversity, we’ll find a solution. We did that also when Paulus Wildeboer quit. It’s not good, but we will find a solution. We have an attractive team, says Pia Holten.
Read and listen to the interview (in Danish) here on dr.dk