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With the sport humiliated and chastened in the wake of London, rehabilitation is a long, incremental and necessary haul that will need every kilometre of the road to Rio.
Often considered curious, swimming’s prominence was grounded in its capacity to showcase the vibrant best of Australian youth.
Central to its hold was winning. Medals from the pool have long underpinned Olympic campaigns and a nation has drawn its sporting worth from those treasured days at four-year intervals.
The cycle broke spectacularly en route to London.
The narrative was anchored in the past. Failed and forlorn comebacks outshone the need to rejuvenate. In a deteriorating environment of favouritism and indulgence, the athletes were seen as churlish and pampered. The toxic symptoms developed unabated until finally the winning stopped and the recriminations began.